Va. (March 9, 2016) - Bionic power, solar panels, and the kinetic transducing
South and Sara Lohmann talk about integrating these technologies on a human
with the vision and enthusiasm of a Hollywood director.
they are not directing a movie or remaking the 'Bionic Man' television
Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) civilian engineers - along
with their Army counterpart and a Marine officer - are envisioning thousands of
Marines and Soldiers continually producing power, energy, and water while on
their project - Joint Infantry Company Prototype (JIC-P) - has the attention of
– BIG business.
Business Intelligence Group (BIG) recently selected JIC-P for the 2016 BIG
Innovation Award, announced the U.S. Marine Corp. Headquarters' Expeditionary
Energy Office, who manages JIC-P, in February. BIG awardees are recognized for
innovations that are making major impacts in today’s world. The winning
organizations have led the way to new advancements and dramatic accomplishments
in a variety of fields.
more, a whopping number of international business leaders - 3,000 senior
executives and academics - selected the project as a "best of the
best" finalist for the 2016 Edison Awards, a program that honors the most
innovative new products, services, and business leaders across the globe. Their
votes acknowledge the finalists' success in meeting stringent quality standards.
Award winners will be announced and ranked at the Edison Awards Annual Gala in
New York City on April 21.
are proud to be recognized with the BIG Innovation Award and selection for an
Edison Award," said Lohmann, NSWCDD lead engineer for JIC-P who ensures
the system functions with Marine Corps technology. "It is a great
testament to the team's dedication supporting the warfighter. We strive to
lighten the load on the warfighter by providing efficient alternative sources
of energy. It is an honor to work with this team on a joint services
JIC-P technology features an electricity generating backpack and the Bionic
Knee - a device worn over the knees that generates power as a person
walks. Integrating these energy
harvesting technologies into a personal power system significantly increases the
warfighters' ability to generate, manage, and store their own electricity
during dismounted operations.
power source in a vest can power common electronics and gear such as radios,
night-vision goggles, global positioning system, laptops and universal serial
bus powered equipment.
Infantry Company Prototype is a great example of multiple agencies in different
services working together," said South, NSWCDD technical lead for JIC-P.
"As an engineer, it's a very rewarding experience to see your efforts come
to fruition and actually see Marines use the system. We're not done yet but
have come a long way from just an idea, to something that can be worn, held,
and used to benefit troops in tough situations and hard to reach places."
project - sponsored by the Office of Secretary Defense Operational Energy Plans
and Policies - is the culminating effort of several years of work within the
Department of Defense aimed at increasing the electrical energy sustainment of
effort will provide the Marine expeditionary rifle companies with a unique,
self-sustainable capability that enables dismounted multi-day operations in an
austere environment," said Marine Capt. Anthony Ripley, science and
technology lead at the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office. "The
program includes a company concept of operation development, modeling,
technology development, integration and large-scale testing and
also includes warfighter feedback.
summer, a team of U.S. Army Rangers evaluated the JIC-P system's electricity
generating backpack - dubbed the "Lightning Pack" - throughout a
12-mile march held at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research and Development
Center (NSRDC) in Fort Benning, Ga.
- the Army's JIC-P technical lead who partners and works collaboratively with
South, Lohmann, and Ripley - collected the empirical data and Soldiers'
qualitative feedback of the Lightning Packs during the march. The data is being
used to improve functional and ergonomic human factors aspects of the pack and
other JIC-P components.
direct feedback is what goes into the system design and improvement," said
user evaluations and data verify that JIC-P components - high efficiency solar panels,
vest-worn power managers, a bionic power knee harvester, and the Lightning
Packs - are effective.
Marines and Soldiers reported that they can operate farther, longer, and
lighter with less spare batteries and logistical re-supply.
the project’s leaders believe Marines and Soldiers can operate safer.
have become critically dependent on fuel, battery, and water resupply,"
said Ripley. "This dependence has resulted in increased personal risk on
the battlefield, especially for those Marines, Soldiers, and civilians hauling
fuel and water."
South, Soto, and Ripley – and the warfighters evaluating JIC-P – are convinced its
integrated energy harvesting and water purification capabilities will
dramatically reduce that personal risk in austere locations and on the
Expeditionary Energy Office and its partners - NSWCDD, NSRDC, Project Manager
Soldier Warrior (within Program Executive Office Soldiers), and Marines – will
be evaluating JIC-P technology throughout fiscal year 2016 and perhaps into fiscal