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article imageU.S. soldiers get comfortable air-conditioned helmets

By Sonia D'Costa     May 20, 2014 in Technology
Battlefields are the hottest and most uncomfortable places to be in, but the US Army has made things easier for its soldiers by designing a new air-conditioned helmet that is light, comfortable, and requires less power.
In 2013, the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center began designing the air-conditioned helmet to take the place of existing ones that were too heavy and uncomfortable.
The new helmet comprises a blower unit that is connected to a face mask through a hose and a battery unit that the soldier wears on his back or hip. A filter system is built into one side of the face mask, which filters the external air that is sucked in through the blower. This arrangement makes cool, fresh air blow across the wearer’s face. Whenever the soldier exhales, the valve closes and diverts the cool, fresh air into the eye cavity of the mask, leading to increased pressure within the mask and preventing external contaminants from getting into it in case of breaks within the seal.
When tested on soldiers, it was revealed that the new helmet makes wearers feel very comfortable while simultaneously enabling them to run, crawl, do rifle exercises, and engage in combat. Plenty of data is available regarding the mask’s comfort level, ability to protect wearers, and thermal sensations.
The Edgewood research team is continuously developing the technology, and in the near future, they hope to develop an army face mask that can automatically turn the fan on and off on the basis of physiological factors.
More about Us army, airconditioned helmets, M50 mask, army face masks
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