Date of Award

Spring 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John Lacourse


A fighter pilots greatest strength is the weakness of his or her opponent. Commonly, this strength comes down to the maneuverability of the aircraft, particularly the ability to out-climb. Since the 1980's, the thrust produced by these engines have the ability to drain the pilots head of blood causing a state of unconsciousness due to the overwhelming forces of gravity for upwards of 30 seconds; often times having fatal outcomes.

This thesis explores the feasibility of detecting of blood flow by means of arterial wall expansion (pulse patency) and blood oxygenation using a microprocessor to continually monitor the signals from this two part sensor where by insight into the development of a g-induced loss of consciousness sensing system can be developed. Results indicate greater than 90% accuracy pulse patency detection using an accelerometer. Simulation and physical models were used as well as human testing to develop a blood oxygenation and pulse patency sensor, or BOPS.