Page 18 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
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can provide new protections for dismounted soldiers, as well as a single source of power capable of supplying a variety of devices, but must be rugged enough to withstand the harshest environments, weather conditions, shock, and vibration.
The concept is simple. Integrating a distributed data and power bus into the tactical vest eliminates the need for the external wires or break-out cables that currently weigh soldiers down. Receptacles sewn into the vest and attached to the bus connect to devices and deliver power and signal, and a single battery pack powers all the devices. Communications gear, sensors, flashlights, cameras, viewfinders, GPS devices, and other essentials can be attached with matching plugs built directly into the device without the use of cables. This approach to tactical connectivity is part of an overall trend to integrate more wearable technology into military gear to help reduce weight and simplify use.
 Networked wearables that share a common data and power bus reduce the number of external cables, as well as the associated risks of entanglement or damage, help reduce total system weight, and support an expanded range of capabilities in military and defense applications, including the tactical vests worn by dismounted soldiers, police, and other first responders.
Tactical vests for today’s dismounted soldiers can be outfitted with an array of devices that support expanded abilities, such as cameras and video screens, and can be cabled to headgear for communications. Rugged, low-profile connector receptacles sewn directly into the fabric and matching plugs built directly into devices can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, the use of cables.
For instance, wired vests with an integrated bus offer two main application benefits. The first is the single central source of power, which eliminates the need for multiple and different batteries for each of the individual devices and helps enable miniaturization, better weight distribution, and overall weight savings. The second is that integrating the plug directly into accessories and devices reduces the need for external wires that could get caught, pulled, or cut in critical moments. Fewer external wires also equate to reduced complexity, improved ease of use, and enhanced flexibility for soldiers in the field.
The wired tactical vest is part of an overall trend toward wearables in defense that is expected to double in the next decade. Several companies have already started building vests, devices, and sensors based on these concepts, and are testing them in multiple countries.
New connector technology is a critical element of the rapidly expanding market for wired tactical vests. One such solution is the new Fischer FreedomTM Series connector, which has seven concentric rings on the receptacle that allow for 360° mating freedom and a plug with a sealed membrane that protects the contact block with an IP68 rating. Sensors can be built into plugs, or plugs can be engineered directly into

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