The Infantry Modular Armor System (IMAS) is a leap forward in the field of body armor that almost enters into the realm of science fiction. Full body coverage featuring a modular chassis with integrated electro-hydraulic assisted limb support, communications, audio enhancement and integrated aiming HUD.
The purpose of this suit is to provide high mobility infantry level heavy armor for use in rough terrain and extreme environments. So lets talk tech and address the subsystems of the IMAS that need to be developed.
The modular chassis is the foundation on which the armor is based. Its intended construction is a combination of aluminum lattice subframe, trauma padding, and exoskelital reinforcement for all joints and limbs. Its function is to dampen the effects of ballistic trauma, assist in movement, and serve as a canvas to mount composite armor plating.
Projected weight is going to exceed human capacity to feasibly carry and as such requires assistance. This is where the electro-hydraulic assistance comes in. Some may have seen the exoskelital lift suits developed in recent years. The IMAS functions much the same way with higher emphasis on energy efficiency and range of motion. Each limb is intended to have pressure sensors built into the innermost trauma layer of the chassis to actuate each group of electro-hydraulic "muscle groups".
The trauma layer is intended to serve as both a cooling system and a shock dispersing layer. Composed of self inflating air sacks this system will cycle air as the user moves allowing for consistent airflow to compress hot air out and bring in cooler ambient air. The interior layer will composed of a self healing rubber membrane coupled with an exterior membrane filled with oxygen reactive coagulant gel. The concept here is that, in the event the exterior membrane is punctured, coagulant agent is released to pack and put pressure on the wound until medical assistance can be rendered.
In final versions, armor plating is intended to be a layer cake of armor grade titanium, high-tensile mesh, and spectra formed for an ideal balance of bullet shear and capture. In prototyping plating will be composed of milled or 3D printed aluminum for basic form and function of movement.
COMMUNICATION AND AUDIO
The helmet Is intended to feature a series of peripheral microphones with active frequency filtration similar to the active hearing protection we have today but with more dynamic and directional sound interpretation as well as hard-wirability to current generation radio tech for plug and play use.
One of the greatest difficulties of a platform like this is the inability to use standard firearms and optics. The problem is similar to using head born night vision. The ergonomics just aren't there and require the use of alternative optics, optic mounting, or IR lasers. The HUD is intended to be a graphical overlay visor designed to sync up with a gyroscopic sensor and laser range finder to interpret trajectory of a round and overlay that into a simple point of impact reticle. In practice it would be similar to using a laser sight but with substantially longer effective range. The HUD is also intended to have secondary features like navigation overlay, team medical status, or simple round count.
This research project is extremely in depth and is anticipated to take 5-10 years in development of the subsystems and mechanical assembly. Real world implementation of a fully functional suit will likely take 15 years.
All funds will be used to acquire machining equipment, electrical testing equipment, raw materials, facilities, and deal with the engineering costs of what is certainly HKT's most ambitious research and development project. The finished result would, of course, be donated to the US military for use as a platform to build upon and implement in the field.
If you believe in this project then please feel free to donate to the cause or check out other avenues of research available here.