Solar Powered Soldiers

The UK's Ministry of Defense has issued a research grant to develop solar energy collectors that could be incorporated into the standard gear of infantry troops. It's hoped that such equipment would reduce the weight of batteries that soldiers need to carry:

"Infantry need electricity for weapons, radios, global positioning systems and many other vital pieces of equipment," says Professor Duncan Gregory of Glasgow uni, one of the institutions participating in the project. "We aim to produce a prototype system within two years.”

The project has been dubbed "solar soldier" and has been assigned £650,000 of funding from the MoD and the government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. More cash will come from Leeds and Brunel universities and a studentship which will be part of the project is to be funded by US weapons'n'aerospace megacorp Rockwell Collins.


Link via Popular Science | Image: EPSRC

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How about spending that money on keeping the soldier's arms and legs sewn on?
What a waste of money. I don't know what would be worse: 25 lbs. of batteries or 10 lbs. of batteries and a uniform with 5 lbs. of black reflective panels glued on it.
We have a name for a soldier in broad daylight: 'target'.
There is little sunlight to be enjoyed in combat.
"We'll need to attack at 10am, from the East, while a wind is blowing West. That way our packs will have had some time to charge, sunlight will be mostly on OUR side of the barriers, and all of the smoke will be blowing away from us. If we need to enter the city, we will do so at noon so that there will be as much sunlight on every side of the buildings as possible. As long as we don't take cover, we'll be fine."
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