TNO and partners develop flight sensing shirt

Pilot Physiological Monitoring – Flight Sensing Shirt

Q4 2021, the technology development of a sensing shirt (undergarment) with flexible printed electronics will reach TRL-4/5 completion. Integrated sensors will monitor the physiological status of pilots and aircrew.


A multidisciplinary consortium led by TNO Human Factors has worked together to develop, prototype and demonstrate a multi-sensor solution for reliable physiological monitoring to improve flight performance and safety. Besides TNO Human Factors, the team consisted of TNO Holst Centre, 2M Engineering and the Royal Netherlands Air Force / Center for Man in Aviation (CML).

Recently, we have delivered a protype Flight Sensing Shirt with integrated sensors that can be evaluated with the involvement of pilots from various platforms such as the F-35.


The ability to access physiological data can help understand the underlying cause of unexplained physiological events (UPEs) experienced by military pilots across a variety of fighter jets or helicopters. However, the introduction of reliable sensors in the pilot’s environment is not trivial. The adverse conditions including high accelerations, altitude and temperature changes put high demands on the applied sensors. Additionally, the sensors need to meet the flight safety requirements and be compatible with the equipment and cock-pit environment (e.g. fire resistant). Our multi-disciplinary team developed a multi-sensor shirt, tailor-made for the adverse conditions of military pilots. The Flight Sensing Shirt will be a valuable addition to an integrated sensor suite capability for effective cockpit sensing, including pilot physiology and the operational context.


The Flight Sensing Shirt has been tested and evaluated in both lab environments (human centrifuge, hypobaric chamber, DESDEMONA simulator) and in flight (T-6, T-38, F-16) in NLD and USA. With the recordings of physiological data from various platforms we aim to gather a database and develop algorithms to differentiate between normal flight conditions and UPEs. Furthermore, in centrifuge training it can provide valuable information on breathing patterns for effective anti-G straining maneuvers.

Human Tech Campus

This Flight Sensing Shirt will be further developed and tested on the Human Tech Campus in Soesterberg (NL), as innovation project within the AEOLUS Human Performance Innovation Centre.

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