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January 9th, 2008
The charter of the MIT center working with the U.S. Army Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center is to find smaller integrated solutions. And those goals are striking. In an 80-page broad announcement, these are some examples of what the Army wants:
New polymers with improved tensile properties that can increase ballistic protection and reduce weight over current individual protection systems. One target is liquid crystal polymer fibers.
New materials for energy absorption and vapor permeability cooling management for helmets.
Improved lightweight, integrated communications devices.
Chemical and biological protection.
Integration of novel flame retardant systems into low-cost fibers for flame and thermal protection.
Development of textile systems that cloak soldiers from infrared and other sensors used in enemy surveillance.
Development of body-worn interactive systems that integrate electronics into protective clothing.
Biomechanical devices that help soldiers in the field handle larger loads, such as an exoskeleton.
Solar and fuel cells that soldiers can wear. The Army wants power levels of 20 to 30W. The cell can weigh no more than 0.6 kg.
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