BAE Systems Unveils Helmet Sensor

July 21, 2010

The HEADS Generation II helmet sensor will be unveiled at the Farnborough International Air Show 2010.

PHOENIX, AZ --(BUSINESS WIRE)--International defense analysts and allied militaries will get their first look at BAE Systems next generation Headborne Energy Analysis and Diagnostic System (HEADS) helmet sensor when the company unveils its Generation II HEADS device during a media briefing on July 21 at the Farnborough International Air Show.

The debut follows a recent $17 million award from the U.S. Army for BAE Systems' HEADS Generation II sensor, which is designed to better monitor soldiers and assist in the identification and diagnosis of combat-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

BAE Systems introduced its first HEADS sensor to the military in 2008. Since then, nearly 7,000 of the company's HEADS units have been fielded to the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps—a testament to BAE Systems' commitment to integrating innovative lifesaving technologies into survivability products for troops.

With the new order, thousands of the company's Generation II HEADS helmet sensors will be produced and fitted inside the combat helmets for U.S. troops serving abroad.

"Diagnosing mild to moderate combat-related TBIs can be challenging. For example, following an explosion from a roadside bomb, soldiers will sometimes continue with their mission, unaware that the concussion from the blast may have lingering effects," said Joe Coltman, vice president of BAE Systems' Personnel Protection Systems business. "With the Generation II HEADS sensor, even if the injury isn't obvious, the sensor is equipped with a programmable color LED light that can be set to activate during a blast event, providing immediate notification of a possible combat-related TBI which should be checked out by medical personnel."

The HEADS smart sensor is also designed to provide medical professionals with important data that may help determine the severity of a possible TBI. "With our Generation II HEADS sensor, we're providing medical teams with a valuable diagnostic tool that utilizes radio frequency technology," added Coltman. "With our new 'smarter' sensor, if a soldier is exposed to a blast, possibly sustaining a concussion, not only will the HEADS visual LED display be triggered at the time of the event, but once the soldier enters a specified area, such as forward operating base or dining facility, a series of strategically placed antennae will scan all available HEADS units and send data to a computer, identifying any soldiers who may have sustained a blast-related brain injury."

The sensor itself is small, lightweight and can be secured inside virtually any combat helmet. Although imperceptible to the wearer, it is designed to continuously collect critical, potentially lifesaving data, including impact direction, magnitude, duration, blast pressures, angular and linear accelerations as well as the exact times of single or multiple blast events. That information is then securely stored until it can be quickly downloaded and analyzed by medical teams using a simple USB or wireless connection.

Compatible with most helmets, the HEADS sensor is unobtrusive and won't interfere with additional helmet-mounted equipment soldiers may need, such as goggles and other sensors.

Deliveries on the initial Generation II HEADS order are expected to begin in April 2011, and be completed by July 2011.

BAE Systems is a leading provider of soldier protective and load carriage equipment in the United States, producing a significant portion of the nation's body armor, tactical vests, combat helmets and load carrying systems. Not only is the company focused on the design, development and production of leading edge survivability products, its integration of advanced materials into manufacturing, rigorous product testing, and field trials support the company's focus on the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

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