Every sentient species has a temperature range at which it can comfortably survive. If the temperature gets above this range, artificial assistance will be required for the body to continue to function. The Thermal Survival Suit is a key tool that, together with an appropriate helmet, will enable a sentient to work in extreme conditions. These suits have a temperature rating at which they are designed to operate – so a suit designed for survival on a hot desert planet would likely not provide adequate protection from a shipboard fire. Care must be exercised to choose the right equipment for the job.
Thermal Survival Suits work in a number of different ways. The suit will usually have multiple layers – first an outer shell of reflective material, designed to repel thermal energy before it penetrates to the interior. Inner layers are composed of insulating material, engineered to protect the wearer from any heat that penetrates the outer shell. These layers are typically sealed in some way and include a cooling element, such as circulating chemical liquid or gel. Integrated power cells and powered heat sinks help the circulating coolant to keep the suit’s wearer protected from extremely high temperatures.
A number of auxiliary devices and monitoring tools are frequently included in suits of this kind. These devices help colleagues ascertain if the wearer is in need of assistance by displaying such information as body temperature, and respiratory rate. They may also include emergency coolant packs that either the wearer or their partners may activate in a rescue situation. These devices typically feature controls that can be manipulated while wearing thermal gloves, which are essential in extreme environments.