ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Chemical-biological protective gear worn by Army pilots and aircrews has evolved to improve survivability in flight.
Engineers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are putting design at the forefront of new Mission-Oriented Protective Posture gear, known as MOPP, in order to carefully tailor a suit that addresses specific pilot needs during a given air mission.
Army engineers are working on a chemical-biological protective mask that mitigates thermal burden and hydration issues for flight crews that can also fully integrate with specific current and future aircraft.
“With more than 130 different platforms, five different helmets and a variety of aircrew equipment, focusing on one mask design became difficult,” said Don Kilduff, an ECBC engineer who has supported JSAM since its inception. “Over time, the program split into different systems to meet the specific needs across the DOD aviation community.”
The Joint Service Aircrew Mask, known as JSAM, was initiated in 1999 by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and the Joint Project Manager for Protection.
The goal of the program is to provide individual respiratory, ocular and percutaneous protection from chemical and biological warfare agents and radiological particulates for pilots and aircrew.