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On Body Power Module for First Responders


First responders will need to carry many more devices such as sensors (environmental,

physiological monitoring, hazard), IoT devices in addition to their cell phones and radios and
peripheral devices (e.g., heads up displays) that require power.  Each of these devices may have
different power requirement (e.g., USB, USB-C, Apple,microUSB) and may need to be charged at
different intervals depending on battery life and use.  Requiring first responders to charge and
track battery levels for all these devices would be an additional burden and work load.  The
innovation sought here is to develop a power module for first responders (PMFR) that would service
all the current and emerging requirements of on-body devices.  The Power Module would provide
long-term, exchangeable and rechargeable battery, or viable alternative such as fuel cell, power to
the various modules for extended use.

Currently, DHS is aware of some power modules/battery packs that have been developed for Department
of Defense (DoD) applications but none for the first responder civilian applications.  It is
anticipated that in the future if these power modules are deployed ubiquitously then sensors and
peripheral devices no longer need built in power systems and can rely on the PMFR for power.  Use
of external power subsystems would then reduce the costs, size and form factor of sensors and
peripheral devices.

The PMFR should be:

•    Flexible to support a number of devices and power requirements (IoT devices, sensor modules,
cellular and radio systems)

•    Swappable (swap out a unit with low charged with a fully charged device); ideally hot

•    Portable (low size and weight for use on day to day applications and for carrying)

•    Low cost (objective $50/threshold $100 for non-intrinsic models)

•    Available for different applications (intrinsically safe for fire applications or standard
ruggedized for EMS or law enforcement IP68 or CSA for intrinsic applications)

•    Operate for 24 hours (objective) or 8-12 hours (threshold))

•    Rechargeable through 110 Volts or 12 volts (from vehicle)

•    Capable of providing battery status, report run-time remaining and alert when charge falls
below a threshold

•    Capable of using standard battery or batteries (for backup)

•    Capable of detecting and reporting modules connected to the Power Module and provide battery

•    Power status application with low-power alert function;


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