Future Military Helmets To Include Night Vision, Thermal Sensors
Researcher Jean-Louis DeGay.
CREDIT: David McNally, Natick RDEC
Military helmets of the future are being designed to incorporate cutting-edge technology including computer displays, night vision, and thermal sensors.
Army researchers from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center recently unveiled a concept for a new helmet that integrates electronics and computing technology into the traditional design.
Called the Advanced Technology Objective, or ATO, the futuristic helmet model is built with pre-molded rails along the sides on which a chemical-biological protective mask can be mounted.
At the 2010 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting in October, where the ATO was first shown, Jean-Louis “Dutch” DeGay of the Natick Soldier RDEC stressed to soldiers and congressmen in attendance the importance of the ATO and the benefits the new helmet technology will provide. The new design, he said, will keep the military’s helmet technology in step with other advancements in combat safety and strength.
“Our end-state, as I’ve always said, is to develop the F-16 on legs,” said DeGay, a former Special Forces soldier. “We need to build that platform around the soldier. We do that with vehicles and we do that with aircraft, but we don’t historically do that with soldiers.”
The ATO concept, DeGay said, provides soldiers with “greater protection, greater capabilities and ultimately makes them more combat effective .”
The ATO helmet is still in the concept phase, DeGay said.