Pressurized Drinking System (PDS)
Your heart is beating as the alarm signal continues to bleat out its warning, which for you – a bio-chemical specialist with the military fighting forces – means you need to suit up and report directly to the hazardous environment where you will be required to assess and remediate the nuclear, chemical or biological event. While everyone else is being evacuated, you are heading straight towards the deadly hazard. Although you have practiced repeatedly, you still struggle to don the life-saving gear, called Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP.) The thick, charcoal impregnated suit is restrictive, uncomfortable, hot and cumbersome. But your life, and the success of the mission depends on the suit being totally impervious to all external environments; so you also wear a mask, hood, heavy rubber over-boots and gloves and rely on a respiration system. After several hours of high stress operations, you are both hungry and thirsty - but put that out of your mind because it’s impossible to eat while suited-up. The steps for drinking water are so time consuming that you usually forgo, jeopardizing your health and your performance. Because the suit may not be breached by any outside influences, you have to maneuver the canteen you carry with you to a position above or over your head, insert a drinking tube attached to your mask and suck the water out. To further discourage hydration, there is a risk of deadly contamination when inserting the drinking tube. In a combat situation, the attention and time needed for the procedure would leave you vulnerable to attack. Fire and rescue workers, police personnel and extreme athletes are among others that would also benefit from a hands-free, self-contained system for delivering clean water, liquid nutrients and even oxygen.
Material Scientists and Engineers at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a pressurized drinking system to address these military needs but which also has utility in many diverse and broad areas. Because it was conceived in response to military issues, it would not require modification to be incorporated into standard equipment.
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