UK UNIVER­SITY RE­SEARCHERS DE­VELOP SMART HEL­METS FOR SOL­DIERS

SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

A team of re­searchers at Not­ting­ham Trent Univer­sity in the UK are de­vel­op­ing smart hel­mets to help pre­vent sol­diers from in­cur­ring hear­ing in­juries. Tiny mi­cro­phones are be­ing knit­ted into the fab­ric cov­er­ing army hel­mets to record the noise sol­diers ex­pe­ri­ence in the field. The ATRG’s e-yarn tech­nol­ogy plat­form will be used to embed the mi­cro elec­trome­chan­i­cal­sys­tem mi­cro­phones (MEMS), keep­ing them dry. The mi­cro­phones knit­ted into the fab­ric will be un­de­tectable to the user and avoid in­ter­fer­ing with mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties. The MEMS are ca­pa­ble of mea­sur­ing the level of noise that sol­diers are ex­posed to in the field over a length of time.

The MEMS will be po­si­tioned above each ear as an acous­tic in­jury is more likely to be asym­met­ric due to mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties, mean­ing one ear might be af­fected more than the other. Ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers, a short ex­po­sure to sound lev­els ex­ceed­ing 140dB can cause per­ma­nent hear­ing dam­age.

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