Weekly Tech Roundup | Aug 17, 2018

Weekly tech roundup: heat injury prevention app (2B-Cool), low-cost drone swarm catapult (and more)

TechLink’s mission is to help small businesses and entrepreneurs across America gain access to the innovative technology invented in Department of Defense labs.

In the last week, we added six innovative inventions to our database that your business could license and turn into new products or services. See technology you’re interested in? Contact us. Our expert technology managers can answer any questions you have about the licensing process.

Also read: How to license technology from defense laboratories.

Here is the roundup:

Core temperature estimation and heat injury prevention app

Army scientists and engineers created a mathematical algorithm that can accurately predict heat injury and warn users.

Packaged into a smartphone, smartwatch, or fitness tracker, the software system, known as 2B-Cool, collects and analyzes heart rate, accelerometer data, and skin temperature from wearable sensors, optionally adding air temperature from a weather app.

The modeling provides an accurate, real-time core temperature estimation and a 20-minute prediction window, with audible or vibration alerts triggered by dangerous temperatures.

This patent-pending software can continually learn the individual’s heat-stress response by automatically adapting the model parameters on the fly to provide increasingly accurate individualized core body temperature estimates.

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Low-cost drone swarm catapult

The Navy has developed a rapid-fire launcher to deploy fixed-wing drone swarms.

Utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is rapidly increasing in private, commercial, and military applications. They are frequently deployed in efforts related to search and rescue, meteorological assessments, traffic surveillance, agricultural crop monitoring, and others, and are capable of performing highly diverse and increasingly complicated missions.

A developing mission area of particular interest to many in the defense and commercial sectors is UAV swarming, which requires multiple UAVs to be launched in a relatively short period of time.

The UAV launcher provides for the rapid launch of multiple UAVs safely, effectively, and in quick succession, and provides a compact design that enhances portability and allows for relatively independent operation.

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Rugged smart device body armor mount

Navy engineers have built a PALS/MOLLE compatible chest mount for smartphones and tablets.

For soldiers, first responders, law enforcement, and other field teams, this patent-pending design offers hands-free access to their portable electronic devices for communication, navigation, or other activities, such as wearable sensor-linked patient monitoring.

While the design and application are valuable and unique, equally so is the way in which this piece can be manufactured.

It is fabricated with tools and equipment found in the field and materials such as thermoplastics, which allows for manufacturing to fit or support a variety of electronic devices to be molded or fitted into the holder.

Models of the device were designed, manufactured, tested, and adjusted/redesigned during military operations in Afghanistan.

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News Article Image of Weekly tech roundup: heat injury prevention app (2B-Cool), low-cost drone swarm catapult (and more)

Mounting system uses the winch line passed through the spare and coupled to a retaining structure (green). The retaining structure may take many forms such as a lug wrench or other common tools which can attach to the winch line and span the opening in the wheel.

Spare tire mount for off-road vehicles

There is seemingly no end to the number of pieces of equipment that enthusiasts put in, or mount on, an off-road vehicle. At the same time, off-roaders want to minimize weight, maintain weight distribution, and ensure that equipment is accessible when needed.

In addition to tools and gear, every off-road vehicle needs two basic items – a winch and a spare tire. One mounted on the front – the winch – and the spare mounted on the tailgate, along a rear quarter panel, on the roof, or thrown in the cargo area. It seems that there is no ideal place for the spare tire.

Navy engineers have created an entirely new mounting place for the spare tire by coupling it to the winch.

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Heterodyne speckle imager

Coherent optical vibration sensors are used in numerous applications including strain measurements, equipment diagnostics, medical imaging, and seismic sensing.

Various techniques are utilized to observe surface motion, including heterodyne laser Doppler vibrometry, shearography, electronic speckle pattern interferometry, and speckle pattern imaging. These techniques are generally used for observation of one or two degrees of freedom.

To increase the functionality of optical vibration sensors, Army scientists have created a device that combines elements of heterodyne Doppler vibrometry and digital speckle photography along with signal processing routines to simultaneously detect velocity in the axial dimension of the interrogation beam and out-of-plane tilts of the illuminated region.

This provides the ability to observe three degrees of freedom using a single coherent beam. The observation of multiple degrees of freedom allows for a complete view of arbitrary surface motion in situations where the surface has independent, axial and rotational motion components.

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Neural network for classification of radio signals with no prior knowledge of the signal characteristics

Animal sensory systems, such as vision and acoustic sensing, have evolved over millions of years to detect, identify, and respond to novel events that could pose a threat or deliver a reward. As a result, when a new sound or sight is observed, most animals will immediately classify it as coming from a friend, foe, or neutral, even without an explicit model or expert knowledge of the environment.

Instead, animals rely on previously learned, low-level environmental features that generate activity in the different layers of neurons within the sensory cortex. As the information propagates through layers of the cortex, the concepts that the neurons are sensitive to become more and more abstract. Decisions based on these hierarchical features allow the animal to make the friend-foe classification. This decision can be made without prior knowledge of the exact input properties and in the presence of noise.

Leveraging knowledge of animal sensory perception, Navy researchers have developed a system for automatically classifying feature types of input signals having unknown feature types.

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Headshot Image of Austin Leach, PhD, CLP

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