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May 08. The Defense Department has named 107 teams as qualified to compete for its Wearable Power Prize. The competition is scheduled to begin Sept. 29 at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. The organizer of the competition — the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (ODDRE) — cleared the teams to advance to the contest’s next phase after reviewing their plans for batteries and fuel chemicals and determining that they would be safe to compete. A total of 169 teams entered the competition last fall, and they submitted battery and fuel plans earlier this year for the initial safety review. Entrants must submit descriptions of their prototype power supplies, their configuration, system wiring diagrams and additional information on the systems’ safety by June 3. The ODDRE will review those plans to further evaluate whether the systems can safely take part in the competition and will issue a final list of teams determined to be safe and approved to compete by July 15. DOD’s goal is to significantly slash the weight of power supplies soldiers must carry to operate a growing variety of electrically powered equipment. Today, the power supplies typically run on batteries, which DOD estimated could soon weigh 9 kilograms (20 pounds) per soldier on a 96-hour mission. (Source: GCN)
08 May 08. FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the introduction of its new FLIR i5 low cost thermal imaging camera. The FLIR i5 is the lowest priced, full-function thermography camera ever offered by FLIR, and is targeted at the emerging market for low cost, high performance thermal imaging cameras for commercial applications. The FLIR i5 is being offered at a price 30% to 40% below FLIR’s current lowest cost camera, and is expected to stimulate significant market demand. The product will be sold through a strong, well-developed distribution network worldwide, with applications in electrical, mechanical, and building trades. An Extech i5 branded product will also be available for the North American market. Weighing just 12 ounces, the FLIR i5 is the lightest and most compact handheld infrared camera available in its class, while offering exceptional ease of use and commercial grade functionality. The FLIR i5 includes a bright 2.8″ LCD display, and can measure temperatures up to 480 degreesF, while detecting temperature differences as small as 0.10 degreesF. The FLIR i5 comes with FLIR’s proprietary QuickReport image analysis and report writing software, a 512MB mini SD Card, a rechargeable battery and charger, USB cable, hand strap, and manuals and user CDs available in 21 languages. The FLIR i5 was designed by FLIR’s Thermography division in Stockholm, Sweden, utilizes FLIR’s own high performance infrared sensors and will be produced at the Company’s new manufacturing facility in Tallinn, Estonia. “The FLIR i5 represents yet another groundbreaking price point for thermography imaging systems, and demonstrates the enormous value created by combining our low cost, high performance infrared detectors with new, low cost manufacturing and world class engineering capabilities,” commented Earl Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of FLIR Systems, Inc. “The FLIR i5 is the latest product in our ongoing strategy to open large new commercial markets for infrared technology. This is truly a revolutionary product at a revolutionary price,” he added.
13 May 08. The U.S. Army Soldier Weapons Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., has ordered three prototypes of a first-of-its-kind lightweight .50-cal. machine gun that fires with less recoil force and can be carried more easily in rough terrain than the Army’s current .50-caliber weapon, service officials said. Made by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, the 38-pound gun weighs less than half as much as the 82-pound M2 and incorporates a host of technologies designed to imp