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Author Topic: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses  (Read 47751 times)

Online bobbymike

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Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« on: October 09, 2013, 06:15:00 pm »
http://defensetech.org/2013/10/09/video-socom-wants-to-build-an-iron-man-suit/
 
DefenseTech:
 
Special Operation Command wants a suit its operators can wear that features liquid body armor, built-in computers and offers super human strength. Essentially, the Pentagon wants to outfit its special operators in Iron Man suits. Officials from U.S. Special Operation Command issued a formal request to researchers to help them build this suit the military is calling the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). The request comes right from the top — Adm. William McRaven, USSOCOM commander.

Some of America’s top scientists from labs such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pitching in on the project. MIT engineers are working on a liquid body armor made of magnetorheological fluids that “transform from liquid to solid in milliseconds when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied,” according to an Army statement. But the liquid body armor is only a portion of the suit. Leaders of the project also want the TALOS to include physiological subsystems that can monitor core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels. “[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that — a whole bunch of stuff that RDECOM is playing heavily in,” said Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, a Army Reserach, Development and Engineering Command science advisor assigned to SOCOM, in a statement.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 10:45:32 am by bobbymike »
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Offline Avimimus

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 07:52:12 pm »
...which, I assume, has to be affordable, waterproof, cool in summer and warm in winter, easy to maintain in field conditions without engineering support, and able to fit through a hole in a fence. Oh, and it has to be able to operate almost without fuel and be light enough to carry over many kilometres even if it is powered down. :) Yes, I'd be asking anyone for help that I could talk into it...

Should be a very interesting package of technologies.

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Offline Triton

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 10:53:33 am »
 Published on Jun 2, 2013

The US Special Operations Command is looking for revolutionary new gear assisting troops in exceeding human performance in combat. The idea sounds similar to a science fiction tale, but if the command will be successful in its quest -- this time it may be real. The command has posted a Request For Information (RFI) to government research centers, academy and industry, to provide information that could contribute to the evolution of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS.


Offline Triton

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 11:17:35 am »
"Socom Leads Development of ‘Iron Man’ Suit"
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Source:
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=121419

Quote
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2013 – U.S. Special Operations Command is using unprecedented outreach and collaboration to develop what its commander hopes will be revolutionary capabilities: a suit that’s been likened to the one worn by the “Iron Man” movies superhero that offers operators better protection, enhanced performance and improved situational awareness.

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, is the vision of Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, Socom’s commander. He challenged industry and defense representatives at a Socom conference in May to come up with the concepts and technologies to make the suit a reality.

Exactly what capabilities the TALOs will deliver is not yet clear, explained Michael Fieldson, Socom’s TALOS project manager. The goal is to provide operators lighter, more efficient full-body ballistics protection and super-human strength. Antennas and computers embedded into the suit will increase the wearer’s situational awareness by providing user-friendly and real-time battlefield information.

Integrated heaters and coolers will regulate the temperature inside the suit. Embedded sensors will monitor the operator’s core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels. In the event that the operator is wounded, the suit could feasibly start administering the first life-saving oxygen or hemorrhage controls.

Fieldson admitted that the analogy to the suit that the Tony Stark character wore in the “Iron Man” movies may be a bit of a stretch. The TALOS, for example, isn’t expected to fly.

But beyond that, there’s little that Fieldson -- or anyone else at Socom -- is ready to rule out.

In a departure from past practices of introducing new products piecemeal, adding bulk and weight to operators’ kit, the TALOS will be a fully integrated “system of systems,” Fieldson said. To offset the weight of computers, sensors and armor that make up the suit, operators will have an exoskeleton -- a mechanism that carries the brunt of the load.

“The intent is to have this fully integrated system so you can provide the most capability at the lowest impact to the soldier,” Fieldson said. “We think there is some efficiency to be gained if all the equipment is fully integrated as opposed to different components that are simply assembled on the human.”

Keeping the systems and the exoskeleton powered will require more than today’s batteries can deliver. So along with the TALOS technologies, Socom is calling on the scientific and technical community to come up with reliable and portable power sources.

“We are really looking at stretching the bounds of science and technology,” Fieldson said.

That’s led Socom to reach out to partners within DOD as well as industry and academia for help in pushing today’s technological limits.

The command is working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, among other DOD organizations, to tap into projects already underway.

DARPA, for example, is making headway on its Warrior Web project, designed to boost troops’ stamina and carrying capacity without sacrificing speed or agility. The concept includes a lightweight undersuit that would augment the efforts of the wearer’s own muscles.

“Many of the individual technologies currently under development show real promise to reduce injury and fatigue and improve endurance,” said Army Lt. Col. Joseph Hitt, DARPA’s Warrior Web program manager. “Now we’re aiming to combine them -- and hopefully some new ones, too -- into a single system that nearly every soldier could wear and would provide decisive benefits under real-world conditions.”

The Natick lab is busy identifying high-technology armor and mobility technologies with plans to integrate them into a first-generation TALOS system ready for demonstration by the end of June, reported Greg Kanagaki, project engineer for Natick’s Unmanned Equipment and Human Augmentation Systems Team.

Natick personnel also are serving as subject-matter experts for the TALOS project, particularly in the areas of mobility, human performance and thermal management, Kanagaki said.

Meanwhile, officials at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command say their programs have a direct application to TALOS as well.

“[The] requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that -- a whole bunch of stuff that RDECOM is playing heavily in,” said Army Lt. Col. Karl Borjes, the command’s science adviser.

“RDECOM cuts across every aspect making up this combat armor suit,” he said. “It’s advanced armor. It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here, too.”

Socom has called on the private sector, too, inviting not just its traditional industry partners, but also those who have never before worked with the command, to participate in the TALOS program.

“There is no one industry that can build it,” Socom’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Army Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris said during a panel discussion at the command’s MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., headquarters, as reported by the Defense Media Network.

The outreach has generated a lot of interest. Socom’s TALOS planning session this past summer attracted representatives of 80 colleges, 10 universities and four national laboratories. At a demonstration in July, 80 companies demonstrated technologies ranging from advanced body armor, some using liquids that turn solid on impact, to power supplies to exoskeleton mechanisms.

Socom’s goal, Fieldson said, is to have a TALOS prototype within the next year and to have the suit ready for full field testing within five years. That timetable is revolutionary for the military research, development and acquisition world, even for rapid-equipping programs.

As the only combatant command with acquisition authority, Socom is able to accelerate the TALOS project, Fieldson explained. The command’s acquisition executive and research and development staff share a building at MacDill Air Force Base, which he said promotes close collaboration and speedy decision-making.

“We have access that is nontraditional and that absolutely helps us,” Fieldson said. “We can bounce ideas back and forth against the leadership and ensure that what we are doing makes sense … I think that is critical to trying to develop this system within the timeline we are working toward.”

Also, in a departure from traditional development projects, Socom’s Acquisition Center staff established an innovation cell to lead the effort, advised by operators and focused on transforming business processes to solve the extreme integration challenges associated with TALOS.

“Because of the technical challenges and the compressed timeline, we are going to take more ownership on the government side than we typically take,” Fieldson said.

“We are going to go in and make some decisions that we sometimes rely on industry partners to make for us,” he said. “That allows us to reach out to a broader audience. That way, if there is a great idea in some nontraditional organization, we can integrate it” without relying on a commercial company to do so.

“We are really changing the process,” Fieldson said. “And the reason we are doing that is to try to streamline the overall effort and drive down both the cost and the schedule. That way, we get the best possible equipment to our force as quickly as possible.”

Although the TALOS is initially intended for special operators involved in high-risk missions, it has implications for the conventional force as well, Fieldson said.

“We have a long history at Socom of developing things first and then the technology moving out to the broader force,” he said. “We fully expect that to happen with this one as well. I think there will be a lot of spinoff technologies that the broader force will be able to use.”

Meanwhile, McRaven remains the suit’s No. 1 proponent.

“I’m very committed to this,” he told industry representatives at a July planning forum. “I’d like that last operator that we lost to be the last operator we lose in this fight or the fight of the future. And I think we can get there.”

Offline Triton

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Offline MrT

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 04:26:32 pm »
Don't be surprised to see graphene used in body armour in the near future, after all it's going to be used in phone casings towards the end of this year, so maybe not as far fetched as it may initially seem. The first video though, really? There really must be some juveniles in the DoD!

Offline mithril

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 07:53:09 am »
Don't be surprised to see graphene used in body armour in the near future, after all it's going to be used in phone casings towards the end of this year, so maybe not as far fetched as it may initially seem. The first video though, really? There really must be some juveniles in the DoD!


no.. they just know that the public loves Ironman and are trying to exploit the marvel film's popularity for their own ends..

Online bobbymike

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Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 02:21:24 am »
Until they substantially increase power concentrations in batteries or decrease the weight and increase the power output from generators, this sort of thing won't get out of the Lab IMHO.

Offline jsport

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2014, 05:49:29 am »
Until they substantially increase power concentrations in batteries or decrease the weight and increase the power output from generators, this sort of thing won't get out of the Lab IMHO.
would challenge anyone to say you are incorrect.. The problems are even much larger. Athough there is a wave of research and many competitive concepts, there appears no hint that, realizable and worth the resource dismount augmentation etc. would require a Manhattan Project size endeavor encompassing multiple types of layers and systems. One early focus we don't hear enough about is, whole body systems absolute need to absorb impulse pressures.

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Offline jsport

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Offline Avimimus

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 07:45:20 am »
Until they substantially increase power concentrations in batteries or decrease the weight and increase the power output from generators, this sort of thing won't get out of the Lab IMHO.

What we might see is some kind of energy recovery / active-assistance system for long marches. By reducing the effective load on the soldier, you can probably double marching speeds (or backpack weights). This would allow a special-operations team to carry a lot of additional supplies (e.g. guided mortar rounds) further faster and with greater autonomy. Current technologies could theoretically do this (some calculations with miniature turbine power, active energy recovery pistons, or even diesels show favourable ratios).

Of course, you'd want to be able quickly shed the suit when in combat. You'd have to be able to walk long distances in rough terrain comfortably and reliability will also be an issue.

I figure we might see some type of augmented system for rough terrain work by mid century.

Offline jsport

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Re: Exoskeleton Systems For Military and Civil Uses
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2014, 09:29:23 am »
Conventional fuel options are generally don't complement circa 2020 pwr requirements.. a dismount augmentation   strategy's pwr requirement including sought lethality/full spectrum defense etc. isn't there w/o a Manhattan Project size endeavor. When a full capability is realized it may be used for raids only and not be "shedable" during operations for instance. ..guided mortars for instance are too large for small tm independance..Many many issues.