Biophysical Characterization and Predicted Human Thermal Responses to U.S. Army Body Armor Protection Levels (BAPL)
Technical rept. 2012-2013
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA BIOPHYSICS AND BIOMEDICAL MODELING DIV
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There is no debate that body armor plays an indispensible role in protecting the lives of those engaged in combat operations. However, a complex tradeoff exists between the increased survivability enabled by body armor and added weight burden that has yet to be fully understood. Soldier mobility and agility due to the added weight burden, thermal burden, and decreased agility associated with encumbering body armor. The U.S. Army has currently drafted a capabilities development document CDD for outlining body armor protection levels BAPL. This work has provided a quantified assessment of the biophysical characteristics of the currently established BAPL configurations and predictive estimates for safe maximum work intensities within three environmental conditions. Predictive modeling results show a relatively linear relationship between the increased protection and increased thermal burden of BAPL configurations. The results from this work support the recommendation to continue to seek modularization to individual protection systems to allow enable tradeoff of ballistic and thermal protection.
- Protective Equipment