Practical Armor Development

Claws61821

New Member
@Williams & Arioch

Yeah, I'm in OP - practically across the street from the JCCC, in fact. It is just about 3 hours from Wichita, like Arioch said, which is the same issue I encountered back in Champaign-Urbana whenever something was going on in Chicago. I'd love to get together with you guys so we can help each other with our respective projects, though - Penutbuttrbandt is supposedly in the KC area, too, if we can all work something out.
 

Claws61821

New Member
It would be annoying at best. Unless he has medical training, it would give him zero additional information and just be some other blinking gimmick he doesn't need.
I know such graphs are often part of game HUDs, but they are there to tell the player when "he" is out of breath, not because they're actually useful.[\quote]
I think I'm at sort of an opinionated middle-ground now between what you're saying about this and what Williams said replying to you. I understand how it would be annoying as 'just some other blinking gimmick,' but Williams is right that many of us now know how to read at least heart rates now regardless of background, and the computer could extract at least that much information from the standard readout without too much difficulty. At the same time, the trooper can't always tell the overall integrity of his armor even by looking at it, so a bar or percentage representing that would not be entirely uncalled for.
I think military NBC filters and masks are in a whole different league than what your hardware store sells.
Fine, then; I'll go to the Surplus. J/k, man; I get what you're saying, and you're right to an extent. Since I don't know their capabilities, shape(s) or where to get them, however, I'm going to stick with what I can acquire for the concept model.
Then why not just keep it simple and use a strap?
Straps actually have just as many cons as magnets for this purpose, they're just more traditional. About the only concrete advantage they provide is that you can integrate them into CQC with little difficulty.
I think it's because he has to look cool for the player. Some Halo Rifles don't even have anything to aim with, aside from what has been interpreted into them after the game's release. Totally un-realistic.
That may be the case, but I doubt it, and I've already explained my opinion. In the case of most of those rifles, however, there's the additional element of recoil to take into account - even Spartans aren't entirely immune to it in-universe.
I think it would be insanely hard to identify every single leaf as a moving object. The system would rather pick the whole tree up as one large object.
Actually, since RADAR just reports every returned frequency signal unless programmed otherwise, it's entirely plausible for either of those situations to occur, depending upon the resolution.
I think the better thing to do would be to specifically look for known "profiles" or things that definitely stand out (like the sound of a plane that isn't a friendly one, or a large metal thing int he middle of nowhere) instead of interpreting something as basic as motion as a threat. The computer needs to be very picky about what it flags, because every flag distracts the wearer's attention rom the real world.
Agreed.
Who isn't treating him with respect and why is it allowed to treat somebody who asks for armour in a disrespectful way?
Matth-w/e for one; and some might consider it allowed because those requests are against 405th regulations.
The info is not actually projected into the field of view when you wear these glasses. You have to look at the little screen in the bottom right corner.
Well that sucks. Back to the drawing board - perhaps my earlier idea of placing the entire shield ~3" from the face and fitting LCD film to it.
 

ventrue

Well-Known Member
Williams is right that many of us now know how to read at least heart rates now regardless of background,

I think most people can see how fast it's going and that's about it.

Don't get me wrong here, I think the idea to have the armour collect medical information is not too bad actually. Imagine a medic accessing that data to provide better first aid (which is the most crucial part of "combat medicine"). Or the computer itself giving the medic or the wearer tips on what to do ("You might pass out in a moment, step away from that ledge"). But there is absolutely no need to show this stuff anywhere unless somebody is actually wounded, and if he is, a readout like "8% health left" won't tell you anything about somebody's condition or how to help him.

At the same time, the trooper can't always tell the overall integrity of his armor even by looking at it, so a bar or percentage representing that would not be entirely uncalled for.
The soldier will just need to know what is really going on. Is the armour damaged? Are the systems underneath damaged? If so, which ones and how much? As with health, you can't condense this into one number. You probably can't turn it into a number at all. If a localised area of the suit is damaged, you don't want to know how much, you want to know where. And lots of things will either work or not. You don't have a "67% environmental seal" or something like that, you're either exposed or you aren't.

Straps actually have just as many cons as magnets for this purpose, they're just more traditional. About the only concrete advantage they provide is that you can integrate them into CQC with little difficulty.
Straps are a way to keep the weapon attached to yourself even while using it. That is a major advantage over magnets. It can totally ruin your day when you get swept off your feet and somehow lose your rifle in the process.
 

PsHWilliam043

Member
I agree with basically all 3 of ventrues responses here. The first, yes, most people only recognize how fast their heart rate is going and it doesn't do them a lot of good. Same with blood pressure, they might just know their average or whatever. But I'm sure if this equipment was standard issue, then all of our troops would get a quick course in how to read it. Though personally I do like the idea of sending the vital information to the medics. Like ventrue said, much better "combat medicine"

The second, a health bar wouldn't really work. And as the example of 8% health, I'm pretty sure I would already be in shock/unconscious at that point lol. But some type of readout labeling which armor parts have been damaged. Maybe a warning display could show up for example, saying "Right Shoulder armor integrity critically low, could impede combat abilities. Recommend immediate repair or removal." Then the soldier would at least know that the shoulder armor isn't functioning properly and may impede movement. Depending on the extent of the damage, he may be able to tell that already by visually looking at the armor plate. But a slightly damaged plate may not look bad, but still have a risk of completely failing with another well placed shot. So the shoulder could compensate with the knowledge of knowing its at low integrity, and watch that part of his body more than usual or try to keep it out of the enemies fire lines.

And I agree with straps. The magnet is cool to hold on weapons, maybe a magnetic holster for a sidearm or something, but the strap really does help soldiers hold onto their weapons. I've noticed numerous times in Halo when the Spartan wakes up/gets up off the ground in a cinematic and grabs a nearby weapon (which also happens to be in perfect working condition and has multiple clips with it somehow lol) Most situations in real life, the weapon might not be that easy to find. Helicopter crashes? Assuming you survive the crash, and with your super armor you very well might, will your weapon survive? Can it still fire? Is it buried beneath the debris? Too many questions. But strapped in place on your chest, very unlikely to come loose. Many of those straps, at least the "good" ones, have multiple thousand pound breaking points before it will snap. They cut pretty easily, but to actually break or rip off requires a TON of force. So a strap really would keep your weapon at hand much better than magnets in my opinion. Though the magnets do look really cool lol.
 

Claws61821

New Member
Hmm...perhaps just something like 'Right Shoulder Damaged/Critical' instead of that long suggestion made by Williams. Leave it up solid so the wearer is aware but it doesn't continue to be a bother. That or have a constant percentage readout for each part, I suppose. Any text message or complex diagram taking up the majority of the display would only be an impediment.

Ventrue's idea of the helmet being able to feed directly to the helmet or computer of a medic is another idea with merit.

I'd actually forgotten about the standard tensile strength of straps and, for some reason, the quite logical chance of losing the weapon hadn't occurred to me. What had occurred to me that you two may not be thinking of at the moment is the possibility of the strap becoming entangled somewhere or allowing rifles to fall to such a position as to impede standard motion. Thus while the strap would be useful in combat and during Lift & Drop, storage magnets would have their own place, such as allowing faster pedestrian travel outside combat.
 

PsHWilliam043

Member
True, but that may depend on the weapon. For instance, when say, strapping a smaller smg to your chest, when you let go, it doesn't fall down very far. It really doesn't impede movement much if any. I imagine the same would apply for larger weapons as well. I play airsoft on occasion, and we tend to strap our weapons on pretty tight. We still have no problem raising it up to fire. But yes, there is still the possibility of it snagging or tangling up somehow. Though with quick release buckles and it being strapped fairly close to your body, it might not have much room to get snagged, or could be released from your body in an emergency.

And as for my long suggestion, I was imagining a pretty lady voice telling you that in your earpiece, almost like an AI lol. But yeah, a shorter message would probably be better... Though, having the constant readout could impede your view. I think only having it show up when armor is damaged or critical for each individual piece would be good.
 

thorn696

Sr Member
As stated in the added part to my first post on the subject weight is the hardest part. Second if you really wish to do something to help with modern systems may I suggest starting with the under suite. Make it in multi pieces, head, chest and arms, legs. Add coolant system under 10lb.and trauma adsorbent system. I would say use a two part gel. 1.) gel that hold temp for 2-4 hours min. 2.) gel to adsorb trauma. Sandwich it in between two moister wicking fabrics that don't melt (that leaves out the first gen underarmor cloths.) Then add something to reinforce the high friction areas, shoulders, chest, back, thighs, knees, etc. Keep in mind at all times the the weigh, if its to heavy no one will wear it. Thats a all-in-one that is not on the market as of right now.
 

Claws61821

New Member
Add some plastic or rubber piping for circulation of coolant for when the gel does get warm/hot and wire the soft circuit medical leads to the inner face of the whole thing...that could work, yeah. Thanks, Thorn.

It might actually be best to have three layers of fabric, one separating the two gels...the trick will be finding viscous materials of adequate function without making the whole thing too thick. Any thickness greater than 1/3" would probably be pushing the limit and 1/2-3/4" would likely be absurd.

If this could be worked out, it would make for a superb underarmour to be worn with most anything and remain useful. At the very least, I could keep the medical leads in a separate undersuit as originally detailed and make this light armor slightly thicker for better protection.

Another idea to incorporate might be to keep the protective gel (and perhaps the cooling gel, as well, especially if a separate coolant radiator system is integrated) in small ablative pockets spread throughout the suit instead of a single large pocket, allowing it to function as intended without the risk of the remaining gel not immediately surrounding the entry point being compromised. This might be especially worrisome if the gel chosen is one which hardens upon impact or upon contact with air or heat. For further protection still, these pockets could be sewn from M5, Carbon Fiber or Kevlar fabrics (in the final product if not the proof of concept).
 

ventrue

Well-Known Member
Well...


  • First of all, what's with all the funny lines? That's another thing the game does to pull you in, create atmosphere. Totally useless in combat, obstructs vision.
  • Heart rate monitor: I know you love this health monitoring stuff, but as I said earlier, the soldier can feel his heart. He doesn't need some number that keeps changing all the time without actually telling him something useful.
  • Power Gauge: While this is definitely necessary, I'm not sure if it belongs on the HUD, especially in such a prominent place. The suit will have to run a rather long time to be useful, so this is not an element that the wearer needs to constantly monitor. Might make more sense to move it to some kind of tacpad on the arm.
  • Video comms... what for? Showing pictures uses a lot of space. That makes sense if you're Facebook and have nothing useful to display, but it's going to get you shot in the field. Aside from that, where is the feed supposed to come from? Internal helmet camera? How's that supposed to work?
  • Scope link viewer: The concept of using a camera to look through the scope does actually make sense, because it allows you to keep your head down longer. This is even being tested in reality as far as I know. However: That is something you might want to show larger. Only when needed though.
  • Integrity: Something else I'd move to the tacpad. Also note what I said earlier about quantifying damage.
  • Radar: Don't think copying the game here is the best idea. Why not put the info into the wearer's field of view? Actually mark suspicious movements and such.
  • I assume "mic" is supposed to be a microphone? What's that doing in a sketch of the HUD elements?
  • Radio status: No idea, guess what to display and whether to display anything at all depends on how you want communications to work. There's no need to show a symbol for the default situation.
Here's something you can try for yourself: Take your sketch, make all the areas that are going to display something gray and then print it onto a DIN A5 or half a letter sized transparency. Hold that right in front of your face while looking around. Now imagine half of that stuff was coloured, blinking and moving. I bet you'll have a harder time than usual finding the kitchen to get a drink :-D

Another general thing: You seem to be starting with aesthetics. The military doesn't care about that, and neither does function. You should start at the other end, sooner or later something worth displaying will come up.
 

Claws61821

New Member
Well...


  • First of all, what's with all the funny lines? That's another thing the game does to pull you in, create atmosphere. Totally useless in combat, obstructs vision.
'All the funny lines' are there more as a reference than anything. This is a very rough draft preliminary sketch, and I made it while staring at my H3L helmet (as you would know if you'd read the description under the pic in the first link). Mostly, they're the bezels on the outside showing through, although some are actually supposed to be the outer edges of the shield. The only way they'll be present in the final product is if that is modelled identically after what the Chief wears. For now, the lines are just a guide for me for where **** goes.
  • Heart rate monitor: I know you love this health monitoring stuff, but as I said earlier, the soldier can feel his heart. He doesn't need some number that keeps changing all the time without actually telling him something useful.
That's about what I thought of the matter when it was proposed that I place just the HR and BP on the display, because I couldn't understand at the time how HR alone would be useful and there are no non-invasive methods of gauging BP without the cuffs, which would restrict bloodflow. Fortunately, I happened to bring this up in casual conversation with a MD, and she suggested programming it to provide an alert when HR spikes 20 beats above or below a given range - the initial symptom of entering into shock. Basically, it's a warning measure to remind a wounded soldier to 'get the Hell out of Dodge and into Cover' before s/he can lose consciousness.
  • Power Gauge: While this is definitely necessary, I'm not sure if it belongs on the HUD, especially in such a prominent place. The suit will have to run a rather long time to be useful, so this is not an element that the wearer needs to constantly monitor. Might make more sense to move it to some kind of tacpad on the arm.
I'm still not sure whether I'm going to include a tacpad, although I can see the use. Whatever the eventuality, I certainly wouldn't make it necessary to the function of the suit's primary equipment, as relocating the main battery gauge there would imply - it's too fragile and choice a target, for one thing. If anything, it would behave like a networked unit. As it is, I couldn't really figure a better place on the HMD; it's not really where you're going to be looking most of the time but it's also not so far from there that you have to wait for a major lull to check it.
  • Video comms... what for? Showing pictures uses a lot of space. That makes sense if you're Facebook and have nothing useful to display, but it's going to get you shot in the field. Aside from that, where is the feed supposed to come from? Internal helmet camera? How's that supposed to work?
Field briefings, detailed status updates, etc. There's plenty of use for video communicationsif you can minimize the distraction and train to work around what remains. This would also be the section where feeds from other helmets would appear (health feeds for medics, vid records from a lost helmet, etc.).

For briefings and other examples of squad communication where the vid comm is used but the external environment is not helpful (such as a squad strategy session when separated, making it useful to be able to differentiate the individual speaker visually), there is supposed to be an internal camera, yes. That said, if I knew how it was supposed to work....

There is also an external camera for recording events as they occur and for use in field briefings and squad strategy sessions requiring views of the objective. The entire vidcomm suite is, I suppose, one possible reason for integrating a tacpad....
  • Scope link viewer: The concept of using a camera to look through the scope does actually make sense, because it allows you to keep your head down longer. This is even being tested in reality as far as I know. However: That is something you might want to show larger. Only when needed though.
I don't know that I need to show it any larger, as it were. It's currently positioned directly in front of the right eye, supposedly the most common used to sight through a scope, regardless of dexterous orientation. Normally, it's absent with the possible exceptioin of the diameter division; as soon as a pressure switch is toggled to activate the Scope Link Camera, this division solidifies and its interior is populated by the view through the scope as recorded by the camera. This constant presence is to help prevent disorientation when suddenly activating the SLC.

If you meant something besides the literally obvious, as it were, please elaborate.
  • Integrity: Something else I'd move to the tacpad. Also note what I said earlier about quantifying damage.
I may have to go back and review what you said. That aside, following Tsau-Mia's suggestion of integrating ablative chips into the hardsuit as integrity sensors, it makes at least some sense to enable a message to pop up briefly when that integrity is compromised (even if only at certain intervals) and to remain present but out of the way when integrity is heavily compromised. You're less likely to look at that tacpad or your armor during or after every firefight, so you might end up entering into another unaware that some part is about ready to fall off, leaving you unprotected. Compromising somewhat, the sensors and collaborative unit could be configured to allow the tacpad to read out a detailed view of the integrity status, enabling the wearer to decide for oneself the immediate risk inherent.
  • Radar: Don't think copying the game here is the best idea. Why not put the info into the wearer's field of view? Actually mark suspicious movements and such.
I'm assuming that your average soldier is only trained to read standard RADAR, if that, and that such is what we generally see exemplified in various games. That in mind, it's less sensible to expect the wearer to have to learn yet another system just to know when an attack might be coming from a given vector.

Besides which, I suspect it's taxing enough to expect the system to recognize and differentiate vehicles and tagged allies from the remaining environmental noise. For it to be able to evaluate in real time the nature of various movements would likely require a far larger unit than can be reasonably worn.
  • I assume "mic" is supposed to be a microphone? What's that doing in a sketch of the HUD elements?
The microphone is actually just below the HMD and is displayed both to show its position and to help differentiate where the HMD ends and the helmet begins. It's also so that someone examining the concept understands that the space directly below the center of the HMD is not vacant.
  • Radio status: No idea, guess what to display and whether to display anything at all depends on how you want communications to work. There's no need to show a symbol for the default situation.
Here's something you can try for yourself: Take your sketch, make all the areas that are going to display something gray and then print it onto a DIN A5 or half a letter sized transparency. Hold that right in front of your face while looking around. Now imagine half of that stuff was coloured, blinking and moving. I bet you'll have a harder time than usual finding the kitchen to get a drink :-D
O_O

...that...sounds...so...FUN! I'm going to run on out to Office Max tomorrow after my visit to Verizon to replace my phone and pick some up, then hope that it'll actually work with my printer! *eyeroll*

...actually, come to think of it...I just might... You can only figure out so much holding a damn piece of paper three inches from your face while mapping out an idea...
Another general thing: You seem to be starting with aesthetics. The military doesn't care about that, and neither does function. You should start at the other end, sooner or later something worth displaying will come up.
Yeah, I understand that. I'm mostly just trying to get the basics out of the way right now without it getting so busy nobody will want to wear it. That's also why most of the stuff is actually set toward the extremities of the shield/HMD. I'm sure I'll move some of it around as the project progresses and that various items will go through multiple reimaginings, but this works for the moment.

Well, I'm going to try and drop off so I can have my wits about me when I go to VZW, Office Max and the local 'Shack (the last with hopes of inspecting RF modulators), but don't let that prevent further and closer examinations, critiques and suggestions!
 

ventrue

Well-Known Member
(as you would know if you'd read the description under the pic in the first link).

Nope, didn't see that :)

I certainly wouldn't make it necessary to the function of the suit's primary equipment, as relocating the main battery gauge there would imply
Displaying a symbol that could easily be moved somewhere else by the software hardly makes a tacpad necessary for the whole suit to function.

I don't know that I need to show it any larger, as it were. It's currently positioned directly in front of the right eye, supposedly the most common used to sight through a scope, regardless of dexterous orientation.
Left handers usually use their left eye, because they hold their weapon on the other side.
But anyway: Might be that I'm not interpreting the size of the thing correctly.

it makes at least some sense to enable a message to pop up briefly when that integrity is compromised (even if only at certain intervals) and to remain present but out of the way when integrity is heavily compromised.
Yes, briefly. Constantly displaying this seems like a waste of space...

You're less likely to look at that tacpad or your armor during or after every firefight, so you might end up entering into another unaware that some part is about ready to fall off, leaving you unprotected.

...especially when you consider that looking at yourself and checking your equipment is something that soldier actually do a lot. Or at least we were trained to, don't know about you :)
I certainly wouldn't blindly trust a system that might be damaged itself for all I know.

I'm assuming that your average soldier is only trained to read standard RADAR, if that, and that such is what we generally see exemplified in various games. That in mind, it's less sensible to expect the wearer to have to learn yet another system just to know when an attack might be coming from a given vector.
It actually makes a lot of sense to train soldiers specifically for using this suit. Just as it makes sense to specifically train them to read sensor outputs, because that is something not everybody can do either. And in addition to that, marking stuff in the soldier's field of view is a lot more natural than having to look at a radar and then try to find the blobs shown there in the world around you.

Besides which, I suspect it's taxing enough to expect the system to recognize and differentiate vehicles and tagged allies from the remaining environmental noise. For it to be able to evaluate in real time the nature of various movements would likely require a far larger unit than can be reasonably worn.
I don't understand that. This whole discussion is based on the assumption that you can somehow make this work, and and at that point it would hardly be a challenge to actually put stuff in the field of view instead of a radar circle.

I'm mostly just trying to get the basics out of the way right now without it getting so busy nobody will want to wear it.
Well, the basics about an armoured, sensor-loaded combat suit would rather be the armour and the sensors, wouldn't they? :-D
And you're right, I guess this is not the place where people want to hear about how you used a fiendishly clever mathematical algorithm to differentiate a Wolf* with a broken muffler from a Leopard*.
(*I'm obviously talking about the vehicles, not the animals)

Well, I'm going to try and drop off so I can have my wits about me when I go to VZW, Office Max and the local 'Shack (the last with hopes of inspecting RF modulators), but don't let that prevent further and closer examinations, critiques and suggestions!
I would study a lot of catalogues and/or websites to find electronic parts, not what your local store has. Especially since the stuff you're looking for isn't exactly mainstream ("Hi, I'm looking for military-grade sensor suites that can identify hostile aliens up to at least a kilometre, do you have to order that or can I pick it up right now?" :-D)

(So anyway, you are actually trying to build this now?!)
 
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