Electronic Weapons: Big Prizes for New Ideas


September 18, 2007: The U.S. Defense Department is offering a one million dollar prize for the best new design for a wearable power system for combat troops. The prototype must be capable of being attached to a vest and producing an average of 20 watts for four full days. The prototype must weigh less than nine pounds (complete.) This would cut in half what the batteries now being lugged by U.S. military personnel in the field weigh. Such a unit, which might be based on fuel cells, solar power, or whatever, will also take up less space than the batteries currently lugged around. Many combat troops go through more batteries (by weight) than ammunition. For those interested in competing, go to http://www.dod.mil/ddre/prize.

Last year, Congress passed a law allowing the Department of Defense to offer cash prizes for competitions to develop new weapons and equipment.


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