Boffins design bomb suits at Coventry University

Video courtesy of Coventry University
By Ben Glass
January 5, 2009

SCIENTISTS at Coventry University are helping design bomb disposal suits.

Experts have been testing new cooling systems for highly padded clothing worn by bomb squad officers deactivating explosive devices.

They are working with NP Aerospace – a Coventry based company selling armoured clothing and cars to police and armed forces.

Dr James Brusey, senior computing lecturer at Coventry University, said: “Because of the weight of the suit the operative becomes quite sweaty and uncomfortable only after a few minutes of wearing it.

“The difficulty is that in very hot environments you can quickly become very dehydrated but also you can suffer from heat stress.

“There are a number of things that are avoidable but you need to take action to avoid them.”

Dr Brusey said the current disposal suits have switches which the wearer has to touch to activate a cooling system.

But by attaching wireless sensors to the suit a computer can make sure the suit is constantly at the correct temperature.

He said: “It may be that in particularly hot conditions the operative who normally would be able to last for 40 minutes can really only last for 20 and then they have to come out and be replaced by someone else.

“Now to assess that properly you need to be able to gather data and that’s one of the critical aspects of our work.”
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