Technology to Assist Military Troops to Obtain Drinking Water from...
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Technology to Assist Military Troops to Obtain Drinking Water from the Atmosphere

By Gov CIO Outlook | Wednesday, January 08, 2020

A new program has been launched by Pentagon’s research to develop cutting-edge devices used by troops to extract drinking water directly from the atmosphere.

Fremont, CA: As water is a crucial resource for all people, undoubtedly, it is the same for the U.S military troops to thrive and survive. They work in harsh environments with low-resources, rendering difficult access and delivery to potable water that may, at times, lead to life-threatening situations. Thus, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the lookout for innovative proposals that will catalyze the synthesis of next-generation sorbent materials and modern systems to seamlessly obtain water straightly from the atmosphere to help warfighters on the ground, as per the broad agency announcement released this week.

It is no wonder that the demand for drinking water across all defense departments is on the rise. Presently, the military is depending on its transported bottles to provide troops with drinkable water or the purification of regional water sources. In contrast, both the options are not optimal for mobile forces that operate with a small footprint. However, purification efforts using contemporary systems can endanger personnel as local water sources are not always located in secure areas. The available purification options like dehumidifiers are not beneficial as they are huge and consume more power. Besides, they cannot harvest water from regions with low humid air. On the other hand, the delivery of water bottles via military relying vehicles will be costly and wasteful.

A ubiquitous source of potable water can eliminate the ability of adversaries to use water as a tactical or destabilizing leverage point while reducing the likelihood of interstate water conflicts. The ultimate aim of DARPA is to harvest water on the spot through a low-powered, distributable system that can provide drinking water anywhere, anytime, and without the need for any external liquid water source.

The Atmospheric Water Extraction program comprises two tracks—one is to create a unit to meet the daily needs of individual warfighters, and the other is to develop systems that will meet the daily drinking requirements of nearly 150 people. Also, technically the program includes two areas—first is to create state-of-the-art sorbent materials, and second is to design systems that can leverage the newly developed materials to transfer potable water from the air.

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