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Blue Helmet project



Project description:

With the disappearance of the traditional enemy concept, also the role of the Dutch military has changed in recent years. It has become a sort of international police force. Peace keeping missions either in UN or NATO context have become daily practice.

This new role comes with new challenges. For example, building and maintaining good relationships with civilians is considered to be essential. Also, in a very short time frame troops may have to switch from civil reconstruction projects to military missions. Communication is a key element in this: with civilians, with colleagues, even with the environment as a whole.

Our client, TNO, is busy developing a future helmet for this user group. Its development takes place in the context of a large project about the future soldier equipment. Our challenge will be to push the thinking beyond the existing helmet.

Concept description:

During world war II 21000 US soldiers were killed by blue on blue. That was 16 percent of all US deaths. These days blue on blue is still a problem. Recently someone got killed and five others got wounded because they were shot by one of their teammates. Therefore we have tried to find a solution for this problem. Our system will prevent blue on blue by warning the shooter that he is aiming at his teammate. When he is aiming a buzzer in the helmet will go off and the soldier knows he is aiming at a friend.

Example: a soldier (soldier 7 for instance) accidentally aims at a friend (soldier 12) of him, and wants to persuade the trigger. A signal beam from the gun will be send to the victim. This signal will be noticed by the sensors, which are attached on the soldiers’ suit. The DPS-BOB (Directional Protection System – Blue On Blue) will send a message back to the aiming soldier. Something like ‘soldier 7, you are aiming at soldier 12.’ The helmet of soldier 7 will buzz, in order to prevent an accident.

Growth as a designer:

During this project I took my multi-disciplinairy teamwork, design and research processes at a higher level. I also improved my presentation skills.