Tech

October 21, 2013

Special Ops Command seeks prototypes for ‘Iron Man suit’

An artist’s rendering of what the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit might look like with its desired capabilities.

U.S. Special Operations Command wants its operators to be protected with what it informally calls an “Iron Man suit,” named after the fictional superhero.

In September, Socom announced it is seeking proposals for prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS.

The goal of TALOS is to provide ballistic protection to Special Operations Forces, along with fire-retardant capability, said Michel Fieldson, TALOS lead for Socom.

“We sometimes refer to it as the ‘Iron Man’ suit, frankly, to attract the attention, imagination and excitement of industry and academia,” Fieldson said. “We’re hoping to take products we’re developing in several technology areas and integrating them into a consolidated suit to provide more protection for the [special operations forces].”

Other technologies include sensors, communications, energy and material that can store and release energy to prevent injuries and increase performance.

Materials that can store and release energy might be similar to the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, now used by some wounded warriors for lower-leg injuries. So TALOS could benefit wounded warriors too, Fieldson said.

The Homeland Security Department and firefighters have expressed an interest in this technology as well, he said, and it eventually might become available for other service members.

“Our goal right now is to try to get the word out and bring industry partners together,” Fieldson said. The technologies that will go into the suit’s development are varied, he said, so it is unlikely one contractor would be able to specialize in the entire ensemble.

The traditional approach, Fieldson said, was to pick a prime contractor, usually a traditional defense partner, give them the design requirements and let them come up with the solution. That would take a long time, he noted.

“In this case, the government will be the lead integrator, and we’ll look to work with traditional or nontraditional partners in industry and academia who are innovative,” he said. “We’ll leave no stone unturned.”

The goal, he said, is to begin integrating capabilities over the next 12 months and have the first suit ready for full field testing in four to five years.

Fieldson thinks TALOS will become a reality because it protects the warfighters and has the backing of Socom’s commander, Navy Adm. William H. McRaven.

“I’m very committed to this,” McRaven said to industry representatives at a July 8 TALOS demonstration in Tampa, Fla. “I’d like that last operator that we lost to be the last one we ever lose in this fight or the fight of the future, and I think we can get there.

“I’m committed to this,” he continued. “At the end of the day, I need you and industry to figure out how you are going to partner with each other to do something that’s right for America.”




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


 
 

 
KMel Robotics photograph

Researchers test insect-inspired robots

KMel Robotics photograph These nano-quads are the size that the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Micro-Autonomous Systems Technology consortium of researchers envision. The current state is about as compact as a microwave oven. &n...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA teams with South Korean agency to further improve air traffic management

NASA photograph Jaiwon Shin, NASAís associate administrator for Aeronautics Research, and Jaeboong Lee, president of the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, signed an agreement Nov. 17, 2014 in Seoul, South...
 
 

Air Force funds research on thermal management technology for fighter aircraft

Managing heat that is generated by electronic subsystems in next-generation aircraft is a vexing challenge for aerospace system designers. In the interest of meeting this challenge, the Air Force recently provided follow-on funding for a Small Business Innovation Research effort that is identifying improved methods for heat conduction and rejection from system electronics for advanced...
 

 

Report: Major federal lab misused contract funds

Managers at one of the nation’s premier federal laboratories improperly used taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and other officials as part of an effort to extend the lab’s $2.4 billion management contract, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General said in a report Nov. 12. A review of documents determined that...
 
 

Teams announced for NASA 2015 robotics operations competition

Eight universities have advanced to the next round of “RASC-AL Robo-Ops,” a planetary rover robotics engineering competition sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The teams selected are California State University Long Beach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; San Jose State University in California; University of Buffalo in New York;...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA tests revolutionary shape changing aircraft flap for first time

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich For taxi testing Oct. 31, 2014, at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge flap was extended to 20 degrees deflection. Fli...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>