On Battlefield – It’s All About the Battery


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Portable and wearable technology is supporting the future of military medical devices. Following the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), there are a variety of devices which produce data. In the battlefield, soldiers are provided with wearable devices to monitor their vital statistics, such as their heart rate, blood pressure, stress and fatigue levels. These enable clinicians in the military to keep an eye on the soldiers out in the field. They can then make decisions, such as urgent medical evacuation, based on the data provided to them.

The use of portable and wearable devices means that injured soldiers can be monitored and treated effectively. The batteries that keep these devices running must be able to withstand conditions such as 50 degrees Celsius heat, sandstorms and the risk of counterfeit products.

A wearable medical device is most useful when it is reporting emergency data. Unfortunately, in the military, this means that it’s likely that the soldier has been injured in some way, usually by a heavy impact or blow so the device must be able to withstand this impact to accurately report back data.

To solve this problem, Ultralife supplies a conformal battery, the UBBL35 to the military. This is rugged and suitable for use in such tough environments and is also lightweight in order to reduce the load on the soldier.

Military applications also place specific demands on the runtime of the battery. They must be able to withstand long periods without being charged, as reliable power sources are not always available. Accurate fuel gauging is also essential so that soldiers accurately know when they need to charge their devices and so they do not fail in the middle of the battlefield.

According to news-medical.net, military procurement teams need to ensure that the reliability and safety of military medical devices is not compromised by the use of counterfeit or grey market batteries. Ultralife offers SHA-1 authentication to customers who buy a custom smart battery. This algorithm is mirrored by software in the device itself that allows the machine to detect whether a battery is counterfeit and to automatically reject it if it proves to be fake.