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July 17, 2013

NBMC issues RFP for human performance monitor system

The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) has issued its first request for proposals (RFP) to industry partners for the development of a technology platform for a human performance monitor system for use by military and civilian personnel under high stress situations.

USAF pilot

The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) has issued its first request for proposals (RFP) to industry partners for the development of a technology platform for a human performance monitor system for use by military and civilian personnel under high stress situations.

Released in collaboration with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the RFP seeks component development and integration for a lightweight, low-cost, conformal and wearable patch for pilots, special operations personnel, firefighters, as well as trauma care providers.

The patch will feature a biosensor device for measurement of biomarkers in human sweat, thus providing early warnings of a range of performance issues, including stress, fatigue, vigilance or organ damage.

Besides a microfluidic system for sweat supply to the sensor, the biosensor device is also required to feature sensors, printed and hybrid control electronics, interconnects, a power supply, wireless communication, and related software on a flexible and comfortable-to-wear substrate.

"The patch will feature a biosensor device for measurement of biomarkers in human sweat, thus providing early warnings of a range of performance issues, including stress, fatigue, vigilance or organ damage."

NBMC chief executive officer Malcolm Thompson said the pilots do not have any monitors despite the aircraft featuring numerous sensors that are capable of recording 1,500 measurements a second to monitor its condition during flight.

"We are working quickly and efficiently to coordinate the expertise being generated at an array of companies, government labs and academic centres,” Thompson said.

”NBMC’s goal is to establish this technology chain to more rapidly develop products and manufacturing approaches for the air force and commercial markets."

Comprising 20 members, NBMC consortium has been established by FlexTech Alliance following a $2.2m grant by AFRL in February this year.

Members include Lockheed Martin, GE, DuPont Teijin Films, PARC, as well as scientists and researchers from the University of Cincinnati, University of Massachusetts, Binghamton University, Cornell University, John Hopkins University, Princeton University, University of California, and other leading universities.


Image: NMBC’s human performance monitor will provide early warnings of stress, fatigue or organ damage in pilots. Photo: courtesy of Senior Airman Brett Clashman, USAF/Released.

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