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Tactical Active Anti-Fogging Goggle or Spectacle


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Electronics, Human Systems 

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop an innovative tactical active anti-fogging goggle or spectacle in a smaller form factor than traditional goggles. 

DESCRIPTION: Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel operate for long durations in harsh environments that expose them to punishing temperatures, winds, heat, and humidity, as well as many other environmental hazards. Combat eyewear protection is necessary to prevent eye injuries in these circumstances. As operators rapidly change environments or undergo physical exertion, fogging/condensation can form inside protective eyewear resulting in a substantial decrease in visual acuity which restricts functionality in austere environments. The goal of this feasibility study is to develop tactical active anti-fogging goggle or spectacle platform that enhances situational awareness, operational readiness, and sustained human performance and effectiveness while operating in harsh environmental conditions. Acceptable system designs will include but are not limited to the following: • Lower size, weight and power than traditional tactical goggles, preferably reduced to a spectacle form factor • Abrasion resistant • Compatibility with individual equipment (for example: night vision goggles, scopes, helmets, body armor, communications equipment) • Ultraviolet A, B and C band (UVA, UVB, UVC) blocking • Maximum field of view • Active environmental individual protection against condensation/fogging • Ballistic resistance according to MIL-PRF-32432, Class 1 Spectacles or Class 2 Goggles, depending on final form factor (See “References”) • Impact resistance and optical performance according to ANSI z87.1-2010 (See “References”) The preferred tactical goggles or spectacles shall not employ passive anti-fog technologies such as coatings to prevent or reduce condensation. Power supplies shall be self-contained in the spectacle/goggle system and shall not exhibit any significant snag hazards. 

PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” Conduct market analysis, design studies, and cost analysis to provide initial system design that minimizes size, weight, and power requirements, withstands environmental conditions, is simple to operate, and has a low manufacturing risk. Conduct laboratory evaluations to determine performance and durability of the proposed design. The objective of this SOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with SOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. 

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate prototype systems determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on a tactical active anti-fogging goggle or spectacle. Based on the results and recommendations generated during Phase I, produce full functioning prototypes and test those systems in a simulated operational environment. Modify design as necessary based on test results and retest. The final deliverable of Phase II will be a sufficient quantity of prototypes, with improvements incorporated to conduct a demonstration and a report of all test activities, findings, and corrective actions. 

PHASE III: This system could be used in a broad range of military applications where visual systems (for example: visual augmentation systems, lenses, heads-up displays) suffer from issues related to condensation and fogging, and need a faster and more reliable technology to counter these effects. 


1: ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 Standard titled "Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices" (13 April 2010).

2:  "Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)", (link is updated regularly)

3:  MIL-PRF-32432 titled "Performance Specification: Military Combat Eye Protection (MCEP) System," (9 January 2013).

KEYWORDS: Goggles, Eye Protection, Tactical Eyewear, Anti-fogging 

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