Soldiers hauling heavy gear in high-operational-tempo environments can easily get too hot. In fact, the Army has recorded thousands of cases of heat-related injuries.
Now a multi-institutional team is working to develop sensors that can identify the warning signs over an overheated system and give commanders a warning when troops need to stop and cool down.
“You can have somebody go down from heat exhaustion, and then you have to take a soldier away from the fight. Heat exhaustion not only impacts soldiers physically, but also cognitively by affecting decision-making, which is detrimental to a mission,” said Mark Buller, a principle investigator with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM. “By catching heat illness symptoms early, you can do something about it.”