Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

The Pentagon Press Corps got a look at the next-next generation of soldier.

The Objective Force Warrior system, scheduled for fielding in 2008, integrates these electronic capabilities. Degay explained that soldiers will never again have to wear cumbersome night-vision or infrared goggles or heavy laser training components on their helmets. These and other features ð thermal sensors, day- night video cameras, and chemical and biological sensors -- are fully integrated within the helmet. It also includes a visor that can act as a "heads-up display monitor" equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors in front of the soldier's eyes.

The uniform system is a multi-function garment working from the inside out, Degay said. It incorporates physiological sensors that allow the soldier, the chain of command and nearby medics to monitor the soldier's blood pressure, heart rate, internal and external body temperature, and caloric consumption rate. Commanders and medics can access the information through a tactical local area network.

Heat and cold injuries are responsible for a large percentage of casualties in both battle and training, Degay said. But if a medic can monitor a soldier's vital signs, many of these types of injuries can be prevented.

If a soldier is injured, medics can start making an assessment before they even get to an injured soldier. "And that saves time on the battlefield," Degay said.

The Objective Force Warrior system has a built-in "microclimate conditioning system." Degay explained the private climate-control system has a "spacer fabric" that's a little bit thicker than a regular cotton T-shirt. The garment has "capillaries" that blow hot or cold air through the system.

< email | 5/29/2002 10:36:00 AM | link

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