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Field Drying System using no power for clothing and boots


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this program is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a system that will allow Marines to dry boots (and potentially other clothing items) overnight without the need for a power supply. DESCRIPTION: The system will use the selected technology to efficiently extract or evaporate moisture from the intended item. It must have at least 3 uses before needing to be replaced. Development will include an effort to increase the number of uses to a greater number. A successful product will allow for the overnight drying of boots and other items of clothing without the need for an external power supply. It will be lightweight, portable, durable and low cost. a. The task is to develop and demonstrate the elements of a system that will allow Marines to dry boots (and potentially other clothing items) overnight without the need for a power source. The ideal system will additionally incorporate a means for regeneration of the moisture-trapping potential of the system once it has been used multiple times. The product(s) will be a cost-effective consumable and will be easy to carry and use by the war fighter. Successful variants will provide a rapid moisture removal system, include features to provide antimicrobial protection and green materials technologies to reduce environmental impact. b. Current Solutions 1. Common boot drying systems involve inverting the boots and forcing warm, dry air through them. This method is often inaccessible to the Marine when deployed in an area without heaters and generator power. 2. Another method involves using newspaper stuffed in boot to wick out moisture. Availability of newspaper is an issue. 3. There is also the choice of waiting several days for the boots to dry, but wet boots are not only uncomfortable but also render the Marine susceptible to foot health issues, including blisters and infections. These distractions can reduce the focus critical to success in battle. 4. There is the choice of wearing an alternate pair of boots which only adds to the logistics burden. 5. There are desiccants which can dry, but the current products are too bulky and heavy for field use. 6. There are reactive systems similar to that used for MREs, but they are either hazardous or the heat is uncontrolled and damages the boot. c. The successful participant will identify the best combination of technologies that can effect rapid drying in a safe lightweight methodology. The ideal choice in this situation is a portable, reusable, self-contained drying system that is light weight and cost effective. There are many technologies showing potential, but our market research has not been able to identify any current product that is capable of performing the drying function without the above mentioned issues. The concept of a bag that the Marine can fold up and place in his pack has tremendous merit. PHASE I: Phase I would target the development of the drying and containment system. Study and propose a system that meets these criteria. Present a concept as to how to address this need and demonstrate how the approach could meet these needs. Demonstrate safety and affordability. PHASE II: a. Demonstration of a prototype system design. b. Manufacture and test the drying system in combat a type environment. c. Provide test system prototypes of a proof of concept. d. Prepare detailed cost and manufacturing plan to include unit cost and production capacity. e. Optimize number of drying cycles. f. Together with the Marine Corps team, establish the test protocols for the testing and verification of product. g. Conduct testing and verification at an approved government test facility, provide a test report for analysis and evaluation. h. Provide adequate samples for user evaluation. PHASE III: Package the process and optimize manufacturing. License the process and technology to a large manufacturer or scale up for production internally. Place product on GSA and other government procurement vehicle. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Product has considerable commercial application in the camping and survival markets. REFERENCES: 1. Lavan, Z.; Jean-Baptiste Monnier, Worek, W. M. (1982)."Second Law Analysis of Desiccant Cooling Systems". Journal of Solar Energy Engineering 104 (3): 229236. doi:10.1115/1.3266307. 2. Effectiveness of Desiccant Coated Regenerative Wheels from Transient Response Characteristics and Flow Channel Properties Part II: Predicting and Comparing the Latent Effectiveness of Dehumidifier and Energy Wheels Using Transient Data and Properti Desiccant 2009 Bags/Moisture_barrier_bags.pdf
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