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US Army to get futuristic 'Halo' style helmets


The Helmet and Electronics and Display System-Upgradeable Protection, or HeADS-UP programme, at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Massachusetts, seeks to provide better headgear for Soldiers and Marines.

WASHINGTON (PTI): The US Army is testing a 'Halo-style' gen-next helmet to keep soldiers and marines safe on the battlefield.

Researchers at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have designed the Helmet Electronics and Display System-Upgradeable Protection, or HEaDS-UP, to provide mounted and dismounted troops with a more fully integrated headgear system.

HEaDS-UP has focused on developing a Technical Data Package of design options and trade-offs to build a modular, integrated headgear system.

Some of these technologies include: improved ballistic materials; non-ballistic impact liner materials and designs; see-through and projected heads-up display technologies; better eye, face and hearing protection; and communications.

According to Don Lee, project engineer in the Headgear Thrust Area of Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, the advances resulted from the collaboration between NSRDEC and the Army Research Laboratory.

The modular prototypes were designed to allow war-fighters to adapt the headgear to the mission and to work harmoniously "with other existing, fielded technologies - your body armour, your (hydration pack), your protective eye-wear, and then being able to accomplish common skills and tasks - getting up, getting in a prone position, entering a vehicle, exiting the vehicle, sighting a weapon, and stuff like that," Lee said.

"We've done some cognitive studies, as well, looking at head-mounted displays, see-through displays, the integration factor of the display," Lee said.

Mounted and dismounted Soldiers have already worn the prototypes in "human factors evaluations," from which data were collected, analysed and applied.

"It was quite overwhelming, the response (we) received that every Soldier that used these systems liked the prototype systems over their currently fielded system. So whether it was an (Army Combat Helmet) or a (Combat Vehicle Crewman helmet), they all like the prototypes over them," Lee said.

Lee predicted that Soldiers will embrace the modular platform, from which parts can be added or removed in seconds.

"Being able to don that (mandible and visor) protection when needed or being able to remove it when not needed is the big 'wow' factor," he added.

The mandible and visor provide fragmentation protection for the face, Lee said.

Tags:

US Army  Halo  Helmet  HeADS-UP  

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