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BAE Systems develop vest that can power devices without need for wires

July 11,2016 14:07

The innovative technology has been created by BAE Systems and Integrated Technology Limited (ITL), for use by personnel including the armed forces, and fire and rescue services, all of whom rely on carrying electronic equipment and having a durable ...


New vest is an alternative to heavy portable data and power suppliesArmed forces and fire and rescue services rely on heavy equipmentThe vest delivers an estimated 40 per cent weight saving per userAlso robust enough to operate in the harshest environments including fire
Published:
12:13 GMT, 11 July 2016
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Updated:
12:31 GMT, 11 July 2016

While mobile phones and tablets have helped to free us from the clunky old desktop computer, they still require a plethora of cables, wires and chargers to keep them working.But a new fabric developed by BAE Systems promises to deliver a future free from the clutter of wires needed to charge and connect devices.They have used the technology, called the Broadsword Spine, to create clothes that have their own electronic network and power supply within the fabric itself. The vest is made of an e-textile based layer that when added to a user's clothing creates an invisible electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables.The clothing promises to reduce the weight of heavy batteries and devices that need to be carried by military personnel and members of the emergency services. But it could also lead to new consumer clothing that will end the need to carry cables and chargers for mobile devices.Broadsword Spine has been designed specifically as an alternative to the heavy portable data and power supplies currently carried by military and emergency service personnel.  THE BROADSWORD SPINE   The Broadsword Spine vest has been designed specifically as an alternative to the heavy portable data and power supplies currently carried by military and emergency service personnel.  It is made of an e-textile based layer that when added to a user's clothing creates an invisible electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables.Users can plug vital electronic devices straight into their vest, jacket or belt and have them instantly hooked into power and data via USB. The vest delivers an estimated 40 per cent weight saving per user versus current technology. It is made of an e-textile based layer that when added to a user's clothing creates an invisible electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables.Users can plug vital electronic devices straight into their vest, jacket or belt and have them instantly hooked into power and data via USB. The vest delivers an estimated 40 per cent weight saving per user versus current technology. The innovative technology has been created by BAE Systems and Integrated Technology Limited (ITL), for use by personnel including the armed forces, and fire and rescue services, all of whom rely on carrying electronic equipment and having a durable power supply for long periods of use.The vest is also designed to be robust enough to operate in the harshest environments, including being resistant to water, fire, humidity and shock. Additionally, Broadsword Spine can be easily recharged in the field using in-vehicle charging points or through simple battery replacements.Paul Burke, Defence Information and Technology Director at BAE Systems Military Air and Information said: 'Broadsword Spine will deliver a lightweight, cable free and better alternative to existing systems. The innovative technology (underlying system pictured left) has been created for use by personnel including the armed forces, and fire and rescue services, all of whom rely on carrying electronic equipment and having a durable power supply for long periods of use (incorporated into a full vest right)'It will be more flexible, robust and lighter than the heavy, unwieldy harnesses which are currently used. 'Broadsword Spine offers an open architecture, meaning it could be used to power communications used by anyone from a soldier on the battlefield to a first responder called to an emergency.' The Broadsword Spine has eight connection ports arranged across a garment, capable of providing 200 watts of power and communicating over USB.While the technology is currently only available for emergency services, in the future it might be used in clothing for the public.It could allow people to charge their mobile phone while in their pocket, for example, while also letting them upload photos to a device in another pocket.   THE HELMET THAT ALLOWS FIGHTER PILOTS TO SEE IN THE DARK  Fighter pilots may soon be able to ditch their heavy night vision goggles in favour of a high-tech display that beams information directly into their line of sight.BAE Systems has now completed its second round of night trials on its lightweight, Striker II helmet-mounted display (HMD) which it claims is the 'most advanced fighter pilot helmet' ever made.The helmet not only offers the pilots a clear and accurate display, it seamlessly transitions between day and night to account for varying light levels during early morning and dusk missions. Chris Colston, Business Development Director for Advanced Displays at BAE Systems, said: 'The successful second phase builds upon last year's trials, which proved the maturity of our digital night vision technology.'The major benefit of the Striker II solution is its 'plug-and-play' integration with existing aircrafts' analogue electronics, as proven on the Typhoon without requiring any physical aircraft hardware modification.'    

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