Tech

May 10, 2012

Army scientists explore wireless power transfer

Tags:
by Bindu Nair
Army News

Army Science and Technology has demonstrated wireless power transfer over 4-5 inches from helmet to vest.

The American soldier is equipped with more capabilities than ever before. These capabilities come in the form of new and more powerful devices that translate to a need for more power.

Currently, power is supplied to the dismounted Soldier through a collection of batteries, many of them rechargeable. A focus of Army Science and Technology is to figure out how to power the soldier, and to enable all of his/her new capabilities, without increasing (and ideally decreasing) his/her physical load.

In order to accomplish this imperative, the U.S. Army is exploring a variety of different technologies and concepts. One exciting technology that opens up different concepts of powering the soldier is the wireless transfer of power. The U.S. Army is allocating $5-$6 million to advance these technologies.

Wireless power could eliminate the need for bulky cables, especially between the Soldier’s helmet and vest (where centralized power sources might reside). Wireless power also allows for the recharging of Soldier gear whenever the Soldier enters a “recharging zone,” to include a vehicle, certain areas within a forward operating base, etc.

The U.S. Army funds the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology,or ISN, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, in Cambridge, Mass. One of the many discoveries at the ISN is the invention and development of strongly coupled magnetic resonators that can transfer electrical power over (relatively) large distances.

Scientists and engineers at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, in Natick, Mass., have picked up this concept and worked with the company founded by ISN technology developers, as well as its competitors, to design systems that can wirelessly transfer power between the soldier helmet and the soldier vest.

Current capabilities allow for using a soldier battery (Li-145) on the vest or torso to transmit ~5W of power to a helmet receiver at about 50 percent efficiency. Current programs are in place to increase that efficiency. As might be expected, the shorter the distance required for power transfer, the more efficient the transfer process.

The U.S. Army is also leveraging work performed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. One effort of note explores the simultaneous wireless recharging of multiple items. The U.S. Army’s Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, known as TARDEC, in Warren, Mich., and Communications Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, in Aberdeen, Md., are both expanding on this (and alternative) technologies to increase the efficiency of power transfer over longer distances (50 feet) so that soldier recharging from vehicles and recharging from areas within a forward operating base can become realities.

The concept is to develop a future interoperable system so that organic soldier equipment recharging can reduce both the cognitive and physical load on the dismounted soldier.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA, partners test unmanned aircraft systems

NASA photograph NASA’s Ikhana is being used to test a system that will allow uncrewed aircraft to fly routine operations within the National Airspace System. NASA, working with government and industry partners, is testing...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA-developed air traffic management tool flies into use

NASA photograph NASA Future Flight Central is a national Air Traffic Control/Air Traffic Management (ATC/ATM) simulation facility. The two-story facility offers a 360-degree full-scale, real-time simulation of an airport, where...
 
 
NASA photograph

Robotics teams prepare to compete for $1.5 million in NASA Challenge

NASA photograph The Los Angeles team Survey’s robot is seen as it conducts a demonstration of the level two challenge during the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge, Thursday, June 12, 2014, at t...
 

 

NASA invests in future of aviation with supersonic research projects

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of eight studies selected by NASAís Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive more than $2.3 million in funding for research that may help overcome the remaining barriers to commercial supersonic flight. The research, which will be conducted by universities and industry, will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions...
 
 
afrl-sensors

Sensors Directorate co-sponsors autonomous aerial vehicle competition

Members from the University of Toledo, Ohio, team make adjustments to their multirotor aircraft prior to the autonomous aerial vehicle competition. The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate hosted the event April 28...
 
 
NASA photograph by David C. Bowman

NASA’s Langley Research Center named Vertical Flight Heritage Site

NASA photograph by David C. Bowman In a May 8ceremony, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was formally designated a Vertical Flight Heritage Site by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International. F...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>