Protonex Technology Corp

Posts Tagged ‘Archangel Armor’

Archangel Armor Update

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Archangel Armor has done it again. Constantly improving, they have been working quietly with developmental partners to continue to improve and evolve their already revolutionary designs. I can tell you that the systems you saw here in the past are not the same as what Archangel is producing now. This new system, which is is as advanced from their original design, as the original was from what the rest of the market had to offer, is already in production.

Working with focus and test groups has paid off. They have to adapted their core technology to new capabilities unseen in the market to date. Rather than build for the “wow”, Archangel has derived every aspect of their system from an effects based design principal. In particular, the goal has been the enhancement of the individual Soldier’s performance.

The statement that an armor system or integrations platform can act as a performance enhancer would be an outrageous claim, except for their quantified proof. Archangel feels that they have that proof in data collected during a recent test of the system.

Archangel conducted a performance based test (the second they have completed), conducted with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg as part of a Government driven test plan. Over two days of timed performance events, scores were compared between Archangel’s Internal Frame Load Bearing System (IFLBS) and the baseline US Army issued Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). Based on information provided to SSD by Archangel, the performance of Soldiers wearing the IOTV over the two days was as expected, with a steady and significant decline in measured scores. The IFLBS, however, astounded even this unsuspecting test group. Not only did their mean scores not decline, most individual events scores showed increases, and in several cases the improvement was considered significant. In one case, at the end of two grueling days of back to back physical events, subjects consistently exhibited times in excess of 60% faster than their baseline score taken at the onset of the test when they were fresh and well rested. Participants also related that they experienced a greatly decreased level of personal discomfort and soreness. The test group and the data collectors (82nd NCOs) made specific note of a greatly reduced recovery time after events which allowed a much higher sustained intensity of training for an extended time frame. This also reduced the risk of load bearing injuries meaning the Soldiers could train much hard with reduced risk. Their recovery time between events was also significantly decreased.

There are a large number of new features that make this system very functional in a variety of scenarios and we can’t wait to show them to you. In fact, we can’t wait to be able to just show you the new system. Archangel has promised to release full product information and their test data soon. Look for more details here.

Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor Study

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Current “lighten the load” efforts focus on shaving ounces from the tactical load. The thinking follows that if you can decrease the actual load carried, you can decrease the rate at which you get tired. Inversely, this should result in increased performance. However, based on the current state of the art and desired protection levels, this approach may take some time to produce a significant difference. On the other hand, a recent load carrying study undertaken by North Carolina State University seems to validate an entirely different approach. The basic claim is that use of Archangel Armor’s Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor (IFLBA) removes the load from the neck, back and shoulders of the wearer, and redirects it to stronger load carriage muscles groups. The major effect indicated is a reduce rate of fatigue.

Redistributing the weight from the back neck and shoulders, prevents translating the weight through the neck back and spine in order to be carried by the strong load carrying muscles of the hips and legs. Many of the effects of fatigue can be felt between the neck and the hips. This system literally bypasses this sensitive area, and there fore the negative effects they suffer.

Defense & Security Technology Accelerator NC State University

The end state of redirecting the weight is to reduce the rate of fatigue. An objective measure of this was conducted at Fort Bragg, NC last November. The pilot study was sponsored by the Partnership for Defense Innovation, and conducted by NC State University, Ergonomics Center. Additionally, the data was peer reviewed by Dr Richard Kuhns who conducted an independent Medical and physiology review.

“The Archangel IFLBA re-directs the load bearing to a stronger, more secure area of the body, which will reduce injuries to the spine and its supporting structures. It allows greater range of motion in the head/neck/shoulder are regardless of loads carried. The nominal changes in total measured weight are negligible especially in light of the idea that the Archangel IFLBA creates less fatigue which equates to greater levels of job performance and decrease injury occurrence. The Archangel IFLBA also provides ergonomic support for the spine. The added benefit of this will be evident with prolonged periods of standing, sitting, walking, running, laying prone, and laying supine.” Independent Evaluation, Jan 2010, Dr Richard Kuhns

IFLBA Weight Measurement

During a measurement conducted at the NC State University, Ergonomics Center at Chapel Hill, NC, this graphic was produced to provide an objective measure of how the weight is removed from the back, neck, and shoulders. On the left is a Improved Outer tactical Vest (with soft armor and full plates), the right is that an IOTV – IFLBA retrofit. In addition to the armor load, the Soldier also carried a rifle and pack with 30 pounds. As you can see from the graphic, the use of the IFLBA retrofit resulted in over 80% of the load being removed from the shoulders.

400 meter Litter Carry

The study at Bragg used several objective events to measure a baseline load configuration against the IFLBA system. The Modular Body Armor Vest is fielded to SOCOM units.

Independent variables:
• 2 types of equipment (Fielded MBAV – Existing, IFLBA – New)
• 2 loads (armor + 25 lbs, armor + 40 lb pack)

Three tasks: (Average over 6 hours)
• Litter Carry (simulated casualty) – 400 m
• Fireman’s Carry – 100 m
• Soldier drag – 100m

Litter Carry
400M Litter Carry
This task was conducted more than 20% faster with the IFLBA than the MBAV.

Soldier Drag and Fireman Carry
Fireman’s Carry, 100M lane
This task was conducted more than 30% faster with the IFLBA than the MBAV.
Soldier drag, 100M Lane
This task was conducted more than 40% faster with the IFLBA than the MBAV.

Borg Scale of DiscomfortAdditionally, NC State researchers collected subjective data from study participants rating levels of discomfort experienced. Data is based on the Borg Rating Scale of Discomfort which is often used in the medical field to allow a patient to communicate pain levels to a physician. On the scales shown below, the MBAV is on the left as the baseline and the IFLBA on the right. The results shown are as the mean of multiple iterations over a 6 hour period. Also please note that the IFLBA team demonstrated a lower level of discomfort after 6 hours than the MBAV team showed on the first iteration.

Whole and Upper Body Discomfort
Whole and Upper Body Discomfort

Upper Extremity Discomfort
This data set covers the muscle groups used to operate small arms

Back Discomfort
This shows Back Discomfort was lower for those wearing the IFLBA

Lower Extremity Discomfort
This shows how the fatigue in the legs and lower extremities was decreased as well. The decreased fatigue in the lower extremities is explained by Dr Kuhns.

“When unencumbered, the body is used for upright posturing, and the lower extremities are used for locomotion. When under load, the body must compensate for balance, starting and stopping, and more muscles are recruited for these tasks. This increases the amount of work placed on them constantly. The increased demand on these muscles makes them tire faster, and prevent recuperation, i.e. “fatigue”. “When carrying loads that increase spinal load bearing you can either remain upright and compress the spine itself or bend the upper body to take the pressure off the spine and use the lumbosacral muscles and waist as a fulcrum, especially when running, jogging, carrying something with the hands, as this only further compresses the spine and creates more discomfort. The decision to adjust body posture to minimize spinal impact is a self-preservation reaction that people will instinctively due as pain or pressure builds in bony structures. The resulting fatigue is due to the fact that the lower extremities are now tasked with using mostly the leg muscles to balance and carry the weight that is not evenly balanced over the core of the spine in a non-spinal bearing fashion. If the weight is balanced over the core structure on a non-spinal load bearing and spinal supporting method, then the person does not need to bend in any unusual manners to compensate for an unnatural fulcrum created out of discomfort or fear of injury.” Independent Evaluation, Jan 2010, Dr Richard Kuhns

In summary, the information presented in the study illustrates three main points:

1. The IFLBA redistributes the weight from the back neck and shoulders to the stronger load bearing hips and legs, as measured by the NC State University Study.

2. This decreased the rate of fatigue and increases performance as measured by the NC State Study.

3. An Independent Medical and physiology review by Dr Richard Kuhns provides scientific explanations for the enhancements exhibited during the study and how this system can reduce the number and severity of the spinal compression injuries suffered by the wearers of tactical equipment.

The final report for the study as well as the review by Dr Kuhns are available to Government acquisition officials in addition to select parties contact Archangel Armor.

Archangel Armor’s Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor on Display at SHOT Show

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Archangel Armor will be displaying their Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor (IFLBA) with numerous partners throughout SHOT Show. Additionally, they will conduct demonstrations and be available for questions and answers at the Source One Distributors booth. Archangel just completed a load study with the North Carolina State Ergonomics Lab and will conduct a formal release of this data after SHOT Show.

Archangel Armor's Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor

GDATP Booth #8606
SEER Booth #6304
S.O.D. Booth #8203
First Light Booth #20414
Mystery Ranch Booth #25109

Cable Releasable Cobra Buckles

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Archangel Armor, LLC

Archangel Armor, LLC (AAA) has been working with AustriAlpin of Austria to develop a cable releasable version of their popular Cobra buckle. The Cobra buckle is the only side quick release in the world that will not release accidentally by human or mechanical error when under load. They are going one step further and also developing a cable releasable plastic buckle as well and AAA recently demonstrated both types of buckles to us. AAA uses the new buckles as part of their Internal Frame Load Bearing Armor system.

AustriAlpin Buckle AustriAlpin Buckle

While they are covered under Patent applications they have asked that we not release too much information on the buckles just yet. We have received a lot of inquiries from interested parties on whether the buckles will be made available commercially and the short answer is yes.

Archangel Armor at AUSA

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Archangel Load Bearing Armor

Archangel Armor, manufacturers of the innovative Load Bearing Armor was spied at AUSA’s Winter Symposium located with General Dynamics. They have continued to refine their concept and have incorporated innovative new materials including proprietary cut away buckles and lightweight armor. More on the buckles soon.

Load Bearing Armor from Archangel Armor and Mystery Ranch

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Load Bearing Body Armor by Archangel Armor

Newcomer to the armor game Archangel Armor has teamed with load bearing genius Mystery Ranch to produce what we consider the next evolutionary step in body armor design; Load Bearing Armor. Take a look at the photo above. Mystery Ranch has adapted their pack frame system to distribute the load across the shoulders and waist like a pack. Additionally, this design provides for better air circulation and helps to eliminate injuries from back face deformation. The design utilizes life support capable Cobra buckles to bear the weight of the armor and any plates or packs attached to the frame. They are currently working on a single pull cut away system that will activate all of the buckles simultaneously and will simplify reassembly to, in the words of developer, Paul Carter, “20 Seconds”.

You really have to see it to believe it and this video shot by Marine Corps Times at Modern Day Marine gives you a pretty good idea of the concept.

Photo and video from Marine Corps Times.