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FLIR to develop fabrics against chemical, bio agents for US agency

Apr '21
Pic: Business Wire
Pic: Business Wire
FLIR Systems has been granted a contract by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop novel fabrics with embedded catalysts and chemistries to fight chemical and biological agents such as chlorine gas and Ebola virus upon contact. The fabrics will be incorporated in protective suits and equipment such as boots, gloves, and eye protection.

These protective suits and equipment are to be meant for troops on the battlefield, medical experts, and healthcare workers.

FLIR received $11.2 million in initial funding for the potential five-year effort worth up to $20.5 million, including options.

The goal of DARPA’s Personalised Protective Biosystems (PPB) programme is to reduce the substantial weight and physiological burden of current Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so soldiers and other specialists can better perform their tasks. PPB will combine novel, lightweight protective materials with new prophylactic medical technologies that mitigate chemical and biological threats at vulnerable tissue barriers, notably the eyes, skin and lungs. The complete system will enable troops and first responders to operate without the burden of carrying and wearing PPE, which can cause heat stress and reduce time spent completing the mission.

“With lives at stake, future operators wearing PPB suits will gain a major edge in staying protected from toxic chemicals and emerging biological threats such as dangerous viruses,” said Mark Stock, VP and general manager of the Sensor Systems business at FLIR. “We’re honoured DARPA has chosen us to lead this extraordinary and highly innovative effort to develop first-of-its-kind protective fabrics for our nation’s warfighters, health and public safety officials.”

FLIR and its teaming partners will develop a prototype fabric material, the Integrated Soldier Protective System (ISPS), for testing by government laboratories. Work will be performed at FLIR facilities in Pittsburgh. The ISPS award consists of a two-year base period, two-year first option, and one-year final option. The result after five years will be a suite of prototype protective fabrics and garments ready for transition to a programme of record with the US Department of Defence.

FLIR safeguards people and property by providing tools that see and sense harmful Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) substances.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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