Mainstream Engineering to Develop a Man-Portable Microclimate System for the Marines

ROCKLEDGE, FL – September 8th, 2010 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, leading research, and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps to develop an active, portable, cooling system for soldiers to wear during hazardous and emergency responses.

To stay healthy, the core temperature of the human body must be maintained within a narrow range, and overexposure to high temperatures can cause a variety of heat-related illnesses. In addition, mental performance can also significantly deteriorate. Soldiers who are commonly in high-temperature environments and wearing highly insulating protective equipment have to be protected from these effects.

Wearing an active cooling system would be an effective solution, especially when the soldiers are performing at high levels of physical exertion. However, current technology is limited by the excessive weight and volume of the equipment. Existing equipment also does not reduce the level of humidity inside the protective equipment.

For these personal cooling systems to be successful, they cannot add excessive bulk to the items a soldier carries into combat. They must also be able to provide a comfortable environment in a wide range of ambient conditions and only require resources that are readily available. Mainstream’s solution is a system that will require only standard military batteries and be compact, requiring less volume than a small backpack. In addition, the technology will be able to manage humidity inside an enclosed protective suit.

The system’s successful development will improve soldier comfort, improve their productivity, and extend the length of missions in these harsh environments.