Episode 73: A “Tripp” through Aerospace Physiology

Dr. Lloyd Tripp discusses aerospace physiology and his work within AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing. Listen as we navigate through Dr. Tripp’s fascinating 45 year career, including work with AFRL’s Research Altitude Chambers and the only human rated centrifuge owned by the Department of Defense.


By Justin Hayward, Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Dr. Lloyd Tripp, the Research Lead of Aerospace Physiology at the 711th Human Performance Wing or 711 HPW, guest stars on episode 73 of the “Lab Life” podcast to discuss his remarkable 45-year-long career with the Air Force and Space Force and his work on the Air Force Research Laboratory’s, or AFRL’s, centrifuge and Research Altitude Chambers.

Tripp’s career began with his enlistment into the Air Force in 1977 as a medical technician working in aerospace medicine before he transitioned to the reserves. During that time, he also conducted work as a government contractor for the Air Force and eventually became a civilian service member. After dedicating 45 years of service has recently retired.

During Tripp’s time at AFRL, his work focused on the Research Altitude Chamber or the “big box,” as he called it, a device used to test a pilot’s cogitative capabilities through various tests by regulating oxygen that simulate oxygen levels that pilots would face while flying aircraft. Tripp’s research also utilized AFRL’s centrifuge, a large rotating device that pilots sit in, to simulate the gravitational forces that can be experienced during flight.

“Although research in these types of facilities has continued over the past few years, the Air Force and Space Force keep changing the aircraft that we fly and continue to increase the parameters, altitudes, speeds, and acceleration of these new aircraft. So, these facilities help us keep up with the onset of new technologies in the aircraft. Most importantly, the facilities we have today are much more technically savvy than the facilities we have had in the past, giving us more access to data and information on the pilot’s abilities,” said Tripp.

Working alongside other DOD organizations, including the U.S. Navy, NASA and other civilian industries, Tripp states that some of the work they do at the centrifuge focuses on reviewing failures in the field and replicating them in the simulator to understand how they happened and how to prevent them in the future.

For more information about Dr. Tripp, his work at the 711 HPW and his fantastic career, listen to the full episode of the “Lab Life” podcast.

The “Lab Life” podcast, hosted by Michele Miller and Kenneth McNulty, brings its audience behind the scenes with the AFRL, scientists, engineers, and professionals who develop tomorrow’s technology for the Air Force and Space Force today.