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Power Supply for the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)


OBJECTIVE: Investigate and identify a suitable safe, lightweight power supply for the exoskeleton component of the TALOS ensemble. DESCRIPTION: The TALOS ensemble is a new initiative in USSOCOM that is intended to provide solutions for the enhanced mobility/protection/situational awareness capabilities to augment the direct assaulter. As such, the power supply for the TALOS ensemble will need to provide sufficient, dependable power to ensure rapid, unencumbered movement of the operator. Desired attributes of the power system also include light weight, low noise, and low to no thermal signature. Power sources should not require introduction of a new logistics fuel to the battlefield. The power source shall produce/store sufficient power to support a non-tethered 12 hour mission at 4-5kW per hour. The system shall be compatible with shore power (i.e. helicopter power, ship power, Forward Operating Base grid power, indigenous power infrastructure in the operational area). The power supply shall be able to utilize extraction platforms (e.g., helicopters and small craft) power to commence immediate system recharge. The power supply shall be able to scavenge power from sources found on a battlefield (i.e. power lines, car batteries, solar, 110/220VAC power outlets, etc.). The power supply shall be rechargeable and ready for the next mission within 6 hours. The size of the power source shall not exceed 15"x 10"x 5". The weight of the power source shall not exceed 15 pounds. The power source shall be nonflammable. A secondary objective of this effort is to enable Special Operations Forces wearing exoskeleton type equipment to more easily carry the weight normally carried by an operator while hiking over long distances. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to determine the optimum method/technology solution for powering the Exoskeleton element of the TALOS ensemble. The objective of this USSOCOM 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 USSOCOM 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 a prototype power supply that meets the performance characteristics defined in the above paragraph entitled"Description". The prototype system will undergo both laboratory and limited field testing to assess its technology readiness, its ability to integrate with the mechanical and electrical sub-system components of the TALOS and ultimate utility for integration into the TALOS ensemble. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: This technology is applicable to the commercial health/medical industry to assist in the recovery/rehabilitation of injured/physically disabled individuals or enhancement of life issues for paralyzed/disabled individuals. This technology would also be beneficial to the fire and rescue workers in increasing firefighter stamina and recovering trapped individuals at disaster sites. Highly maneuverable exoskeletons with a long duration integrated (not tethered) power supply open up new horizons for a multitude of defense, medical, and industry applications.
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