Pentagon researchers want your pee!
Their mission is to safeguard the United States from weapons of mass destruction through the marvels of modern technology.
And now, if you don’t mind, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency – commonly known as the DTRA – would like a newly designed high-tech uniform they can literally piss on.The DTRA has released instructions for contractors interested in submitting proposals to the DoD. Along with calls for a compact high intensity x-ray generator and circuit boards that can withstand extremely high thermal activity, the US military is asking developers to design a uniform that will generate real-time vital statistics using urine samples collected within the suit.The DTRA is calling on experts from the chemical defense and biomedical industries to help develop what they are calling“Intelligence clothing for rapid response to aid wounded soldiers”and, according to the proposal, the camouflage commode could be the difference between life and death. The objective, explains the agency, is to add to the military’s arsenal a type of uniform that will use integrated sensors built into the fabric that would measure various medical statistics, as well as determine the location of bullets that may have entered the fabric. Additionally, the DTRA is seeking the capability of being able to calculate what, if any, CBRNE (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosive) agents the clothing may have been exposed to through the suit’s sensors, which would also be equipped with a GPS device for easy tracking.Somewhere in there is the part where it needs to be pee-proof.In the call for work’s description, DTRA writes that the uniform should be able to identify agents used in a CBRNE weapon through blood, saliva, sweat and urine detection, as well as distinguish the amount of damage to any cells, tissues or organs using similar sensing mechanisms.“For example, individuals exposed to a commonly used explosives compound, 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT), have been shown to have hemoglobin adducts within their blood and form the urine metabolites of TNT, 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4ADNT) and 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2ADNT), all of which can be utilized as biomarkers for TNT,”explains DTRA.The agency is now asking for submissions, a process which requires at least three phases for contractors to complete for the Pentagon. First interested parties are being asked to submit assessments on the suitability of sensors that would be required, as well as power requirements, sensor sensitivity and selectivity. If they make it to phase two, though, things start to get messy. According to the call for work, contractors will then have to“conduct a demonstration of a uniform containing a sensor and communications network.”All the way back in 2010, Savania Davies-Keiller, a designer for DDC LAB, told Forbes that researches at her lab were slaving over a way to incorporate then-groundbreaking items like smart phones and affordable GPS trackers into clothing.“We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with our clothes; we want clothes that leave the customer completely unaware that the garment is doing its function. That is high-performance fashion technology,”she said.At RT, however, we generally agree that we’d like to know what our outfits are doing with our pee.