Ready for Transfer

NASA Glenn’s Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis Technology


Laboratory: NASA Glenn Research Center

Technology: Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA)

PUMA can detect hypoxia
in divers. Photo credit: NASA 

Opportunity: This precise, real-time measurement technology is available to license by interested parties.

Details: NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed the Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) to provide highly precise real-time measurements of human metabolic functions. PUMA is a battery-powered, wearable device that measures concentrations of carbon dioxide and oxygen in inhaled and exhaled breath, as well as heart rate, temperature, gas pressure, and inhalation and exhalation airflow rates. The device relays data wirelessly to a laptop computer for real-time analysis. Because the technology is packaged into a compact and wearable unit and can be used anywhere, multiple applications are possible, from ensuring the health and safety of astronauts, pilots, divers, and miners to monitoring patients with pulmonary disease and evaluating fitness levels of soldiers and athletes.


  • Highly Sensitive: PUMA is a unique portable metabolic unit that makes multiple real-time measurements per breath and samples oxygen and carbon dioxide close to the mouth.
  • Predicts Hypoxia: The device is the first portable metabolic unit that senses and predicts the onset of hypoxia, a dangerous condition that results from inadequate oxygen.
  • Proven: The technology has been validated in F-22 flight tests, and data was used to correlate flight information and aircraft performance with pilot physiological outputs.
  • Versatile: Because of its unique design and innovative sensor technology, PUMA can be used to ensure astronaut health; detect hypoxia in pilots, divers, and first responders; and help physicians monitor chronic pulmonary disease.
  • Fast: The response time of the PUMA technology is 10 milliseconds (ms), as compared to the 80120 ms of competing units. Faster response means more time to react to life-threatening situations.


  • Monitoring health and fitness in pilots, firefighters, divers, climbers, patients, and athletes
  • Detecting hypoxia in pilots and divers
  • Physiologic monitoring in mountainous terrain
  • Monitoring the health of helicopter crewmembers
  • Evaluating performance in extreme environments
  • Ensuring safety during training exercises

Contact: For more about this technology and to apply for licensing, contact

To view the original NASA technology listing and marketing sheet, go here: