Both military and non-military personnel use face shields to protect the user’s face and eyes from flying hazards and harmful fluids. Transparent face shields allow the user to have visual acuity while still offering protection. Often, opaque face shields are required to enhance protection of the user’s eyes, particularly in harmful light. Conventional transparent face shields comprise approximately four pounds of borosilicate/polycarbonate glass. They are bulky, tiring to wear, and may constrain head movement. Conventional opaque armor systems provide a greater mass efficiency as compared to transparent armor systems. However, conventional opaque face shields do not provide suitable clarity in typical lighting.
In view of this, Navy researchers have developed a helmet with an opaque face shield which utilizes fiber optics to collect the real-time image of the scene and project it onto the inside of the face shield. The opaque ballistic face shield is non-electric, made from silicon carbide and polyethylene and weighs approximately two pounds. This is a significant weight advantage over transparent ballistic shields.
- System provides high-resolution field of view and depth of field
- Helmet and face shield have minimal weight and could be constructed with off-the shelf-commercial components
- One configuration of the system projects the fiber optic obtained image directly onto the viewer’s eye as opposed to the inside of the face shield
- Optical system meets National Institute of Justice level IV protection standard
- US patent 9,700,093 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers