US Army researchers developing flexible plastic sensors

4 January 2015 (Last Updated January 4th, 2015 18:30)

US Army engineers and scientists are developing flexible plastic sensors to improve situational awareness capabilities.

US Army sensors

US Army engineers and scientists are developing flexible plastic sensors to improve situational awareness capabilities.

Once operational, it is hoped that the new technology will enable soldiers to accumulate information on the chemical-biological environment, troop movements and signal intelligence.

US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command executive deputy to the commanding general Jyuji Hewitt said: "The army of 2025 and beyond calls for advanced sensors that can locate and identify threats, enable protection systems to counter those threats and make it less likely an enemy will detect our vehicles."

As part of the research, scientists will also work on improving air operations in degraded visual environments, known as DVE.

"Sensors and situational awareness are the keys to our soldiers being effective."

Furthermore, researchers at the army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Centre at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, are working on a programme that integrates images of multiple sensor technologies, such as radar, infrared and laser detection and ranging (LADAR).

US Army Research and Technology deputy assistant secretary Mary Miller said: "Sensors and situational awareness are the keys to our soldiers being effective.

"I think that [the] army [science and technology] is looking at a broad number of approaches for what sensor capabilities we will need to meet future challenges.

"We're looking to improve situational awareness, mobility, [and] lethality, and even improve the maintainability and effectiveness of our systems."


Image: The new flexible plastic sensors could assist soldiers in gathering data on the chemical-biological environment, troop movements and signal intelligence. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.