The US Army is developing a revolutionary Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, is an advanced infantry uniform that promises to provide superhuman strength with greater ballistic protection. Using wide-area networking and on-board computers, operators will have more situational awareness of the action around them and of their own bodies.
“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, an RDECOM science advisor assigned to SOCOM.
TALOS will have a physiological subsystem that lies against the skin that is embedded with sensors to monitor core body temperature, skin temperature, heart rate, body position and hydration levels.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are currently developing armor made from magnetorheological fluids — liquid body armor — that transforms from liquid to solid in milliseconds when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied. Though still in development, this technology will likely be submitted to support TALOS.
* advanced armor
* communications, antennas
* cognitive performance
* sensors, miniature-type circuits
The request asks participants to submit a white paper summary of their technology by May 31, describing how TALOS can be constructed using current and emerging technologies. A limited number of participant white papers will be selected and those selected will demonstrate their technologies.
The initial demonstration goal is to identify technologies that could be integrated into an initial capability within a year. A second goal is to determine if fielding the TALOS within three years is feasible.
Demonstrations will be conducted from 8-10 July 2013, at or near MacDill AFB, FL and will explore emerging TALOS technology solutions for the advance enhanced mobility/protection capabilities to augment the direct assaulter. The goal of these demonstrations is to identify technologies which could easily be integrated to form an initial capability within twelve months. A secondary goal is to determine the feasibility of fielding objective capabilities within three years. Any TALOS technology-based demonstration conducted at the event shall be capable of supporting a SOF unit to provide a revolutionary improvement in SOF operations. Any and all TALOS solutions must include all necessary software and hardware to accomplish the mission. Direct Assaulter enhanced mobility/protective technologies may include, but are not limited to:
a. Advanced Armor: Materials to support next generation full-body ballistic protection
b. Mobility/Agility: Enhancement platforms such as powered exoskeletons
c. Situational Awareness (SA)
d. Light/noise discipline
e. Command, Control, Communications & Computers (C4): Such as conformable & wearable antennae and wearable computers
f. Individual soldier combat ready displays: Including non-visual means of information display, and potentially utilization of cognitive thoughts and the surrounding environment to display personalized information
g. Power generation and management
h. Thermal management of suit occupant
i. Medical: Embedded monitoring, oxygen systems, wound stasis, electromechanical compensation
Proposed solutions should take into consideration “lightening the load” of the operator, mentally and/or physically.
The Army wants colloboration from suppliers. If one group can develop the articulated armor, the heads-up display for this, but can’t develop the power, than how are we going to come up with something truly revolutionary?
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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