The Laboratory for Engineered Human Protection (LEHP) has been awarded a $934,000 contract extension by the U.S. Department of Defense for the year starting August 2007.
Now in its fourth year of funding, the research initiative to develop the next generation of protective apparel for military personnel has received a total of $4.6 million as part of the Army’s research, development, testing and evaluation budget.
“With this funding, researchers and graduate students at Philadelphia University will continue to work on the development of the latest and most sophisticated garments for U.S. military personnel,” said David Brookstein, dean of the School of Engineering and Textiles and principal investigator for the comprehensive research initiative.
Working with the Natick Soldier Center in Natick, Ma., LEHP has become a hub for the development, coordination and integration of complex systems involving research and development of materials and a catalyst for the transfer of technology to apparel-manufacturing companies. In addition to systematic research efforts relating to comfort, protection and performance, LEHP also studies psychophysical factors and parameters, perceived user-confidence data and factors and conducts research in textile and garment engineering and material science.
One of LEHP’s early research successes has been the development of an artificial neural network model used to investigate the relationship of the many parameters that govern the prediction of comfort. At the state-of-the-art laboratory, researchers also are working to develop prototypes for chemically protective military uniforms that will withstand exposure to toxins.
At LEHP, which is based at the Philadelphia University Research Center in Manayunk, researchers use specially designed equipment such as the Sweating Manikin and an environmental chamber to develop and test the technologically advanced materials.