SDI Seminar

Speaker: Dan Siewiorek, Associate Director Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University

Date: October 1, 1998
Time: Noon
Place: Wean Hall 8220

Electric Power for the Dismounted Soldier

Abstract

Earlier this year the Board on Army Science and Technology of the National Research Council (NRC) released a report describing power requirements for the soldier of the future. The Army is currently developing the Land Warrior, a wearable computer system composed of a laptop computer augmented by radios, display systems, and sensors. The initial Land Warrior system weighs approximately 40 pounds and draws about 50 watts with all subsystems operating. The first Land Warrior units will be fielded in 1999 with an expected deployment of over 30,000 units early in the next century.

The talk will summarize the findings of the NRC committee report. The committee reviewed both energy supplying technologies, such as batteries and fuel cells, and energy consumption in communications, sensors, and computers. Trends in consumer products, such as cellular phones and pagers, were plotted to project the capability of future systems based upon commercial technology. A hypothetical system of comparable functionality to Land Warrior and based upon available commercial technologies could be built by the year 2001 with a total system power requirement of less than 4 watts. The current Land Warrior computer requires about 50 watts. The committee estimated that a computer with substantially greater functionality, including a voice recognition interface, would require only 10 mW by the year 2015.

The talk will introduce a new design principle based upon "energy locality" that can be used to design wearable computer systems of the future. The capabilities, size, and power consumption of the wearable computer in the year 2015 will conclude the talk.