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    Strong Suit

    Strong Suit

    Courtesy Photo | The third generation TacHazE suit, excluding the rebreather. (DEVCOM Soldier Center...... read more read more

    FT. BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES

    11.10.2022

    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    Advancements in tactical hazard protection are helping specialists stay on mission longer.

    A new system of technologies for chemical and biological (CB) integrated protective gear that increases the time CB incident specialists can spend on mission also decreases the physical burden of the current Level A ensemble while still providing a high level of protection. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Technologies Department in its role as the Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program teamed with researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) and Soldier Center (DEVCOM SC), and industry partners to develop advanced suit, cooling, and respirator technologies for the protective gear that compose the Tactical All Hazards Ensemble (TacHazE).

    CB incident specialists may spend several hours at a time over many days or even weeks in the heavy, cumbersome Level A protective gear consisting of an impermeable suit and a self-contained breathing apparatus that limits user mobility and provides no moisture vapor transfer, which makes it hot. The users also wear oxygen bottles that typically last just one hour.

    TacHazE combines new garment materials and respiratory technologies with a personal cooling system. When users face a large amount of toxic chemicals and deadly bacteria and viruses, this new ensemble would improve their mobility, suit temperature, and time on mission over the Level A ensemble.

    TacHazE consists of a close-fitting, lightweight, and drapable protective garment; a powered cooling garment; and a full-spectrum respiratory protection system, which is a combination rebreather and Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR). Although the TacHazE garment fits tighter than the Level A suit, its fabric makes it easier to move in.

    The TacHazE respiratory protection system is designed to extend mission time up to 4 hours in rebreather mode using a configuration with a weight comparable to a 60-minute air bottle. The system can also switch to a PAPR that allows the user to approach the mission site while breathing filtered external air for up to 8 hours.

    The TacHazE cooling garment keeps users comfortable while they work in the protective suits and reduces the physical burden associated with high levels of protection. The system comprises a cooling vest and miniature refrigeration unit that is powered by standard military rechargeable batteries.

    In a recent showcase event at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Edgewood, Md., a demonstration team of engineers from DEVCOM CBC, DEVCOM SC, and DTRA JSTO displayed the TacHazE system components, highlighted its operational improvements, and solicited user feedback from key personnel at the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Command and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. This user feedback will help improve the TacHazE to both ease the burden of effective incident responders' protective gear and increase the time they can work to counter CB threats. This achievement is yet another example of DTRA JSTO's proven history of successfully providing the Joint Force with critical capabilities.

    POC: Kendra McCoy, Ph.D., kendra.m.mccoy.civ@mail.mil

    Sidebar:
    For more information about improved cooling systems for protective garments, see “Keeping Your Cool” in JSTO IN THE NEWS, November 2019:
    https://www.dvidshub.net/news/355591/keeping-your-cool-personal-thermal-management-system
    https://www.dvidshub.net/publication/issues/50634

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.10.2022
    Date Posted: 11.10.2022 18:22
    Story ID: 433118
    Location: FT. BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, US

    Web Views: 540
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN