Power lines crisscross the skies, delivering electricity with the flip of a switch. But what happens when a soldier is outside, away from an electrical outlet, and unable to access electricity to power equipment or recharge batteries?
An engineer at an Air Force research lab in Dayton, Ohio, has figured out how to harness electricity from power lines via a system called RAPS. RAPS is a connecting device that’s attached to the end of a long cable. When the device is thrown over a power line, a blade at the end pierces the power line and completes the circuit that brings electricity down to the soldier. And that can mean a lot in the desert or jungle.
On June 28, the Office of Naval Research live streamed a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Real World Network Theorist and Distinguished Professor from Northeastern University. The title of Dr. Barabasi’s presentation was, “From Networks to Human Activity Patterns.”
We will post the archived video of the presentation once it is available. Thanks for watching!
Doc Bender on top of the Ziggurat of Ur in Southern Iraq, in February 2009. (Photo: DCOE)
Dr. James Bender recently returned from Iraq after spending 12 months as the brigade psychologist for the 4-1 CAV out of Ft Hood. He served for four and a half years in the Army. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad and many spots in between. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on mental health issues related to deployment and being in the military.
In a post for DoD Live last month, I covered resilience and actions you can take to enhance your psychological fitness. This month I’m covering how technology is being used to help treat service members who have a psychological health issue.
If you’ve spent a bit of time reading the DCoE Blog or our website, you’ve heard of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This anxiety disorder occurs in some people who have experienced an intense trauma, like combat. PTSD can be very debilitating and can last many years.
Prolonged Exposure therapy is a treatment for PTSD that has proved very successful in the past few years. The idea is to expose the patient to what originally caused the trauma in a controlled way where the patient is in charge of the situation. For example, say a soldier becomes very nervous when he hears gunfire because it reminds him of a sniper attack he experienced in Iraq. Part of treating him with Prolonged Exposure therapy would be exposing him to gunfire in a safe, controlled way, such as going to the rifle range and listening to the “pop” sound the rounds make.
When conducting Prolonged Exposure therapy, it is important that the exposure is both realistic and controlled. It can be difficult to accomplish this when the original trauma happened in Iraq or Afghanistan — are you going to send the soldier back to Iraq, into an ambush, just to treat his PTSD? This isn’t very practical, not to mention the complete lack of control in that situation.
The final lecture in the Office of Naval Research‘s spring 2010 Distinguished Lecture Series is right around the corner!
On Monday, June 28th, from 1300-1430, the Armed with Science blog will live stream the lecture by Dr. Albert-László Barabási, Real World Network Theorist and Distinguished Professor from Northeastern University. The title of Dr. Barabási’s presentation is, “From Networks to Human Activity Patterns.”
Highly interconnected networks with amazingly complex topology describe systems as diverse as the World Wide Web, our cells, social systems or the economy. Dr. Barabási will discuss the amazing order characterizing our interconnected world and its implications to network robustness and spreading processes.
Most of these networks are driven by the temporal patterns characterizing human activity, ranging from web browsing to mobility patterns. Dr. Barabási will use mobile phone data to explore the patterns characterizing these temporal processes, leading us to the question of predictability in human activity patterns.
Visit the Armed with Science blog Monday, June 28th, from 1300-1430 to watch this exciting lecture live!
Successful blood airdrop test using GPS equipped parachutes at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. (Photo: ASBP)
Up in the air, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…blood? A new and exciting method to deliver blood through parachute drops may help quickly save the lives of military service members in theatre.
The Joint Medical Distance Support and Evacuation (JMDSE) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project— a U.S. military program comprised of Defense Research and Engineering (), U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Army, Navy, and Air Force—is working on a special delivery system designed to accurately deliver urgently needed blood to war fighters in battle. Blood banking officers from the Armed Services Blood Program are working with the program to test the effectiveness of these systems.
The new delivery method would utilize the micro-light weight (up to 150lbs) and ultra-light weight (up to 699lbs) Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) GPS-guided parachutes to deliver blood to service members in theatre. It is a significant development that if approved, will have life-saving consequences.
The idea of using these systems to deliver blood was conceived during a series of warfighter requirement meetings in the fall of 2009. The military blood program was contacted shortly thereafter by project leaders and asked to participate by coordinating the use of real blood products and to ensure safe and effective packaging, transport and recovery of the blood used in the test. In addition, these blood banking officers were requested to lend their specialized skills in the development of a new packing design for an unmanned aircraft delivery platform. Testing began in 2009 with simulated blood, and then with real blood at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, February 2010.
Reports have been circulating of an upcoming “Internet crunch,” a phenomenon web experts expect will occur when Internet protocol version four (IPv4) runs out of space for IP addresses, the identification numbers assigned to computers and other devices connected to a network.
To delay effects of the possible crunch on the Defense Department (DoD) and increase tactical communications capabilities, the Department is going to adopt a combination of existing IPv4 infrastructure and newer IPv6 equipment, said Kris Strance, the DoD chief of IP policy. He will discuss the Internet crunch in more detail on DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable on Thursday, June 24, at 1100 EDT.
Strance says the DoD has nothing to worry about, at least internally. He said due to DoD’s early involvement in the creation of the Internet (a product of DARPA), it has more address space at its disposal than most other organizations worldwide.
“What we have to be concerned about it our outward-facing websites that connect with folks that might only have IPv6, so we’ll need to make sure those are both v6 and v4 compatible,” he said.
U.S. Army Col. Mike Wehr, Director, CJ-Engineer, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (Photo: US Army)
By Ian Graham
Defense Media Activity
Engineers with NATO Training Mission Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan are working with their Afghan partners to build infrastructure to support the growth of the Afghan national security forces, a senior officer involved in that effort said yesterday.
During a DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable, Army Col. Mike Wehr, director of the Combined Joint Engineer Office for the training commands, said Afghanistan cannot sustain itself without the proper infrastructure in facilities and governance.
Wehr’s office ensures adequate facilities are available, develops engineer leadership at the ministerial level and builds sustainable capacity and capability to enhance the Afghan government’s ability to hold and build stability and security, he explained.
It’s imperative, Wehr said, to keep the growth of leadership at pace with or ahead of the growth of forces at the troop level. Without competent management at the ministerial level, he added, no amount of on-the-job education will create a sustainable Afghan engineer corps.
The National Intrepid Center of Excellence exterior rendering. (Image: DCOE)
Cutting-edge virtual reality medical technology, the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) system, will soon be available for patients at the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), which will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony next Thursday, June 24.
“CAREN allows the use of virtual reality to be incorporated into the care of wounded warriors and may assist in the return to duty and/or the reintegration process,” said Sarah E. Kruger, a biomedical engineer and the CAREN operator for NICoE.
CAREN allows patients to work through a variety of skills after experiencing traumatic injuries, with the focus on promoting resilience and recovery. Troops returning from war are able to work through post-traumatic stress symptoms through a very carefully monitored virtual environment.
“The CAREN system contains an instrumented treadmill embedded into a six degree-of-freedom motion platform that synchronizes in real-time with a virtual environment projected onto a large, curved screen,” according to Kruger.
The potential benefits to troops who experience brain injuries are significant, as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are very serious issues facing increasing numbers of our troops. According to the VA, more than 44% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with psychological conditions, and service members who have served back-to-back deployments often show signs of PTSD and TBI.