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Monday, 3 September 2012

Military Gear gets Female Version

Army engineers of the US military has announced its plans to make a new gear for female soldiers that will provide them with more protection and make them more alert in combat.

In a study made by the US Army it was discovered that the ill-fitting military gear actually interferes with the women’s combat performance, citing examples like difficulty in boarding the vehicles and taking proper aim with their weapons.

This initiative to redesign body armor started in 2009 when women from the 101st Airborne division felt uncomfortable wearing the gear during the war.

“It rubbed on the hips, and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or a tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle, that would create pressure points that in some instances could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort,” said Lt. Col. Frank Lozan, who is helping design the body armor.

However, engineers are faced with challenges because making new female body armor will present potential weaknesses on the material. This is because the material of the armor they use will get heavier as you add more curves.

“There are some complex curvatures that come into play with female hard-armor plates. I could make female hard-armor, but it would be twice as heavy,” Lozano said.

They  are now exploring “unique chemical designs” to make lighter but effective plates.

“It became clear to us that there was a difference in torso length. The other point that we realized is that there is a significant difference in shoulder width. I read this data, and it seems so obvious,” says the product manager for the Army’s soldier protective-equipment program.

Black Hawk Adventures reports that they are planning to design a body armor specifically for women with adjustments like narrower shoulders, shorter torso and curves in the hips and chest so they can fit more naturally.

Eight female sizes gears are now being tested by 100 female soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. In the meantime, female soldiers still have to choose from 11 different sizes of Army-standard body armor.

US military officials recognize that this feat will be an engineering challenge so such armor may take years to make.

Black Hawk Adventures: Scientist Arrested for Selling Research Data to China

A former nanotechnology scientist of Sandia National Laboratories pleaded not guilty to federal charges of selling intellectual property and research to institutes in China.
Jianyu Huang was arraigned last week on 1 count of false statements and 5 counts of federal program fraud as he was accused of sharing information from his post in the Sandia lab’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies since 2009. However, the charge was only for theft of federal property and was not for stolen classified information.
He reportedly sold research on nanotech that belongs to the US to government-run Chinese schools like Harbin Institute of Technology and Peking University, claiming them as his own.
The indictment accuses Huang of selling USD 25,000 worth of “materials, equipment, time and work product of the company staff along with intangible property” between 2009 and 2012, on 5 different instances.

One count of false statement included in the indictment stemmed from Huang’s alleged lying to a counterintelligence officer of Sandia about bringing a Sandia-owned laptop to his trip to China on July. Employees of Sandia are all required to undergo interviews before they can go on any international travel and are not allowed to bring company-owned equipment without permission.
Black Hawk Adventures said that Huang has been fired in April due to violations of their procedures and asserted that he never had access to classified information that might risk national security. Sandia is responsible in making sure the country’s nuclear stockpile is secure and helps in addressing national security threats.
Huang had been working in the nanotechnology field (the science of matter manipulation on the molecular level) since 2007 but in an open and unclassified science facility which does not have any access to classified data, according to Sandia’s statement.
“Sandia applies rigorous control and protection practices to all information regardless of the level of that information. Sandia expects all employees to follow specific and defined procedures. All employees are aware of the consequences when they fail to follow these procedures.”
On the other hand, the defendant’s side is insisting that this is just another case of litigation in federal court where the state charges first and then discloses later. Huang’s trip to China was approved and authorized by Sandia itself, according to his lawyer.
According to the spokesperson of New Mexico’s Attorney Office, Elizabeth Martinez, Huang will continue to be in the federal custody in Santa Fe until such a time that he meets conditions for release.

Black Hawk Adventures : Olympic-quality sports gear for all

In the wake of the Olympics fever, people across the world had a glimpse of sophisticated and high-end sports gear used by athletes in their games. Not surprisingly, they are using top-of-the-line gears and equipment to help them perform at their best.
And thanks to such an elite market, the advanced and highly-improved gears are made available to the public as consumer products. The technology used to develop gears in professional sports are now adopted by legit manufacturers in improved sports gear for amateurs, minus the fraud alert.
Sleek bicycles in word-class events are mainly from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic known for its durability, strength and lightness. This particular material is now available in high-performance bicycles — from rims, seat posts, handlebars, stems and cranks.
As for helmets, they are also becoming more advanced in terms of design and composition. Originally, helmets are made from leather, effective in protecting it from abrasions. Today, helmets being used in competitions are sometimes with built-in goggles and a wraparound design so that cyclists will have more convenience while having the optimum protection.
Likewise, consumer helmets for skateboarding, football and skiing are created with hard aerodynamic plastic shells that are highly resistant to puncture and have shock-absorbers. Separate visors or ultra-lightweight goggles made from polycarbonate plastic (like bulletproof glass) are also popular.
Bodysuits worn by track and field players of the US has now become part of a popular trend in recycled-materials-turned-fabric. Looks like many of our athletes and outdoor lovers are highly concerned about the impact they are making on the environment; good thing sports equipment firms have quickly responded to the market.
Olympians this year have donned uniforms that are reportedly made from recycled plastics — think old plastic bottles spun into fabric and fibers that combine superb quality with sustainability. Fortunately for you, this green innovation is already available for the public.