AFFOA, DoD collaborate on advanced protective gear for military

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2024-07-03 12:50:10 – USA

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have partnered to leverage technological innovations to enhance protective gear for military personnel. Their latest development, the Cold Temperature Arctic Protection System, exemplifies this effort by offering multiple layers designed to keep wearers warm while maintaining lightness and mobility.

“The key is a multilayer approach—the system has five layers to give you the protection you need,” explained Sasha Stolyarov, CEO of AFFOA. “Each layer provides a different level of thermal protection,” ensuring comprehensive insulation and flexibility for the user.

Stolyarov emphasized the importance of this system, noting that it prevents air from reaching the body while allowing a full range of motion. “Warmth is a basic need that you must meet for cognition and everything else,” he said. “For long missions in extreme cold, this level of protection is critical for effective performance.”

Another groundbreaking innovation is the integration of semiconductor devices into fibers to monitor the bodily functions of High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumpers. Developed with input from the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, the Physiological Status Monitoring System includes a headband sensor system that tracks markers such as temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels.

“We work with the industry to not only build prototypes but also create a manufacturing process to scale these technologies,” Stolyarov noted. This collaboration enables the rapid identification of U.S. capabilities for developing the necessary materials and processes to meet DoD requirements.

The Cold Temperature Arctic Protection System is currently being adopted by the army, while the Physiological Status Monitoring System remains in development. Stolyarov added that these innovations might eventually have applications in civilian sectors, broadening their impact beyond military use.

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