The warfighter plays an increasingly important role in a battlefield that is digitally connected in the future. By providing him with increased protection, convenience and connectivity, his capabilities are enhanced as part of a force-multiplier effect. ST Kinetics offers a range of soldier systems that range from lightweight armour to energy systems that convert a soldier’s walking motion into electrical energy.
In our quest to optimise the capabilities of the future soldier, ST Kinetics has developed the ARIELE (Army Individual Eco-Lightweight Equipment) system that provides a holistic solution to many issues facing today’s warfighter.
ARIELE is made up of various components, each contributing to boosting the efficiency and capability of the soldier on the ground.
Key to this is a system that could help a soldier keep warm or cool down during a mission. The Adaptive Real-Time Core Temperature Intelligent Cooler (ARCTIC) utilises both active and passive cooling methods to do this. The active cooling function makes use of thermal sensors to automatically decrease or increase the temperature, while its passive cooling function is fabric-integrated and sweat-activated.
Protection is just as important. As part of ARIELE, the Personal Lightweight Armour Technology (PLATE) uses an unconventional method to form the basis of composite armour plates. This involves utilising vacuum consolidation to eliminate encapsulated air, reinforcing the conformity and support of the ceramic core of fibre composites.
The future soldier may also wear a load-bearing vest that is modular and scalable. Made from tough yet breathable textile, the Personal Reinforced Outer Tactical Equipment Carrier (PROTEC) is designed to protect soldiers from harsh environmental and excessive heat conditions as well as preventing them from suffering from heat stroke and dizziness.
Situational awareness is always important on the battlefield. To provide this, the Shielded Advanced Eyewear System (SHADES) comes with an intelligent Heads Up Display (HUD) with ballistic protection. Using augmented reality (AR) images, SHADES enables enhanced command and control over a wireless weapon station, communication and coordination, navigation, identification and the tracking of friendly forces.
Power is crucial for the connected soldier. The Portable Watt-hr for Extended Range (POWER) system aims to provide enough power to sustain longer mission while reducing the weight burden on soldiers. The adoption of fuel cell solution also obviates the need for battery recharging as it involves merely a swapping of fuel cartridges.
It helps that a soldier can convert his walking motion to electrical energy as well. This is what the Bionic Regenerative Active Energy System (BRACES) provides. It can generate up to 6W of power, while storing the harvested energy in a super capacitor. When required, it can be channelled to power the low power electronic devices.
Separately, the Power & Energy Management System (POEMS) offers a small, lightweight and easy way to draw power from sources such as fuel cells, solar-mats, building power sockets or even vehicle 12 VDC outlets. The power can then be used to charge batteries, directly power military equipment or simply do both.
Perhaps even more convenient is the Enhanced Wireless Charger developed by ST Kinetics. Using electric field induction, it enables a soldier to charge up devices anywhere. Compared to magnetic field induction, the technology used here also gives a user more freedom when it comes to placing the equipment to be charged near the charger itself.