Nanotech Smart Suits

Document Sample
Nanotech Smart Suits Powered By Docstoc
					   I started my research on
    Nanotechnology in the military.
    Initially I was interested in
    Nanotech weaponry: Nano Rifles,
    nano-scale viruses, and nano-
    robot swarms.
   As I researched the topic
    however, I found that most
    military nanotech research
    seems to be focused on
    defensive applications of
    materials science.
   The sci-fi vision that the military
    primarily seems to be pursuing
    is the Smart Suit: a uniform that
    can adapt itself according to the
    stresses of the environment and
    the needs of it’s wearer.
   The military’s number one priority is developing better body
    armor for soldiers.

   Fibers woven from carbon nanotubes make ideal anti-ballistic
    textiles as they are flexible, lightweight, durable, and have
    excellent energy absorption properties which allows them to
    spread out the impact of projectiles.
                         The military is also looking into
                          creating suits that will augment
                          or enhance a soldiers natural
                         Currently, such technology is
                          very cumbersome and it only
                          allows for robot movements.
                         By reducing the components of
                          such a system to the nanoscale
                          however, strength suits could
                          become a viable option on the
                          battle field.
                         Scientists are even working on
                          developing fabrics that can
                          charge through human
Cyberdyne Inc’s HAL       movement, mitigating the need
Exosuit                   for bulky power supplies.
   Adaptability is another key aspect of
    smart suits.
   Scientists are currently trying to
    develop suits that can automatically
    blend in with their environment to
    camouflage their wearer. Scientists
    are trying to develop “protein coated
    quantum dots’’ that can sense and
    change colors in a similar fashion to
    tropical fish’s natural defense
   The Natick Soldier Center is also
    currently working on a smart suit for
    Navy SEALs that can be used for both
    land and sea missions. This will spare
    SEALs the trouble of carrying two        A cuttlefish camouflaging itself
    suits and having to change between
   Another adaptive function
    researchers are working on is
    the ability for suits to treat
    soldiers wounds on the field.

   Nanosuits would monitor
    soldiers vitals, administering
    medical care as needed.

   For example, if the suit
    detected an injury, the CNTs
    in the fabric could constrict to
    staunch bleeding or form a
    splint, or the suit may
    administer medication
   MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies is currently working
    on “integrated fiber and fabric systems” that can sense
    environmental stimuli, such as the acoustic wave from a fired
    bullet, or the radiowave from a tank’s range finder, and then adapt
    accordingly either to protect the soldier or provide him with
    information about the battlefield.

   This technology seems like the most promising aspect of wearable
    nanotechnology as it has the broadest potential implications.
    Smart clothes can essentially give us extra ways to sense and
    interact with our environment.
   I want to know which of these possible functions specifically depend
    on nanotechnology as opposed to macro or microscale electronics
    and fibers. In other words, what does nanotechnology let us do that
    micro-electronics cannot?

   I also want to get a better feel for how these different types of
    nanoscale components will fit together. In all the articles I have read,
    there’s this kind of magical idea that CNT-based fabrics can do
    everything simultaneously. You would think they can whisk away
    water, and resist bullets and conduct electricity and sense radio
    waves all simultaneously. But I imagine certain systems will have to be
    developed and constructed independently from each other.

   Right now I am currently considering non-military aspects of smart
    clothing. For example, how being able to sense wi-fi networks with
    your clothes might affect entertainment, or what clothes with
    adaptable appearances could mean for fashion.
Image sources listed in order of appearance from left to right, top to bottom.
   1.
   2.
   3.
   4.
   5.
   6.
   7.
   8.
   9.
    s g =___vSTYA2DUkRQNEuxzK0AYsyIrdU=