The US Army is developing a next-generation self-contained mask designed to keep soldiers cool without being cumbersome. Most cooling helmets feature a blower unit that hangs off the hip or back. But this new system consists of a fan embedded within the mask's filtration system.
The system uses a mini-blower to pull in air from the side of the mask and directing it across the nose cup, providing an even flow of cool, fresh air. When the wearer exhales, the air valve closes and clean filtered air is directed into the mask's eye cavity. This over-pressurizes the mask, preventing external contaminants from entering it.
This self-contained helmet technology is not only lighter and more effective than conventional respirator helmets, but it also consumes less power.
The helmet was developed by scientists at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.