SRA 1: Soldier Protection, Battlefield Care, and Sensing

SRA1 focuses on studies to develop lighter weight, stronger materials to protect the Soldier and Soldier-augmenting platforms and systems from mechanical damage owing to blast waves, ballistic impacts, and mechanical vibrations, using various mechanisms of energy absorption including phase transitions and material deformation. Specific materials of interest include molecular composites, organic polymers, superelastic nanocrystalline metal alloys and ultra-high strength ceramic formulations. This SRA includes research to elucidate how materials fail under high rate mechanical loads. This work provides new understanding of how to design and make new types of lightweight, durable, high strength materials, on how to reliably test protective materials under simulated battlefield conditions and how to interpret the results of these tests to obtain further insights to improve protective materials. One project examines the use of packed granular particles of shape memory ceramic materials to dissipate energy through inter-particle friction and intra-particle martensitic phase transformations with interest in applications to vibrational damping. Another project features basic research on three different nanomaterials to arrest bleeding in battlefield wounds that cannot be treated by traditional methods of macro-compression, including use of injectable hemostats to counter the vexing problem of internal bleeding. Another project focuses on novel means to protect the Soldier against infections.  The approach is to safely intervene in the human immune system through the design of novel lymphoid- and leukocyte-targeting nanomaterials that concentrate adjuvant compounds and immunomodulators in immune cell populations to respectively enhance prophylactic vaccines and anti-microbial therapies.


Project 1.1: Advanced Multiscale Methods for Modeling of Fracture in Novel Nanomaterials

Project 1.2: Shock Mitigating and Reinforcing Molecular Nanocomposites

Project 1.3: Design & Testing of Polymers for Improved Soldier Protection

Project 1.4: Superelastic Granular Materials for Impact Absorption

Project 1.5: Rapid Hemostasis for the Treatment of Incompressible Wounds

Project 1.6: Empowering Future Vaccines & Immunotherapies with Nanotech-based Adjuvants