‘HEaDS-UP’ at Natick for better helmets

The new integrated helmet technology would eliminate the need for crew members to switch to their Army Combat Helmets when dismounting from their vehicles. Photo Credit: David Kamm

The new integrated helmet technology would eliminate the need for crew members to switch to their Army Combat Helmets when dismounting from their vehicles. Photo Credit: David Kamm

NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 6, 2013) — In their quest for better helmet technologies to keep Soldiers and Marines safe on the battlefield, researchers at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here are making a “HEaDS-UP” play.

Helmet Electronics and Display System-Upgradeable Protection, or HEaDS-UP, has been a four-year effort at Natick to provide mounted and dismounted troops with a more fully integrated headgear system. HEaDS-UP has focused on developing a Technical Data Package of design options and tradeoffs to build a modular, integrated headgear system. Some of these technologies include: improved ballistic materials; non-ballistic impact liner materials and designs; see-through and projected heads-up display technologies; better eye, face and hearing protection; and communications.

Two modular headgear concept designs emerged from the process. They will be officially unveiled in October during a demonstration at Fort Benning’s (Ga.) Maneuver Battle Lab, said Don Lee, project engineer in the Headgear Thrust Area of Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC.

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