Example 3 Survival Technologies

A number of new survival technologies are being developed to provide human protection in a number of different ways. Ballistics protection, shown in Figure E.6, is being studied using new highperformance fibers, composite materials, advanced ceramics, and metals. The analysis of new materials requires enhanced predictive modeling of the effects of ballistic weapons with these new materials. Another challenge is integrating the new materials into uniform systems.

Figure E.6. Ballistics protection.

Innovative research in chemical/biological protection for soldiers is investigating selectively permeable membranes that would provide an outer coating for uniforms. The coating would not allow aerosols or liquids to penetrate from the outside of the material. Additional research is being done in elastomeric protective materials and lightweight carbonless materials. A diagram showing some of the interactions between various layers of the material is shown in Figure E.7.

Selectively Permeable Membrane

Perspiration ) Moisture

Perspiration ) Moisture

Shell Fabric

Liner Fabric

Figure E.7. Selectively permeable membranes for uniforms.

Shell Fabric

Liner Fabric

Figure E.7. Selectively permeable membranes for uniforms.

Directed-energy eye protection (protection from lasers) is a challenge because of the various frequencies of lasers. Some current systems are considering robust dielectric stacks on polycarbonate, enhanced-eye-centered holograms, operational dye technology, and nonlinear optical effects.

New materials are providing possibilities for multifunctional materials. Examples include aramid co-polymer chemistry and flame-retardant chemistry. Some of the possibilities for microencapsulation may provide phase-change materials — materials that change to match the environment of the soldier. This would provide a chameleon-like uniform.

Finally, systems integration will play an important part of combining many of the new capabilities such as microelectronics, improved lightweight sensors, and advanced materials. The work on highresolution flat panel displays will provide wearable computer screens, and that will significantly reduce the weight of equipment that soldiers need to carry.

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