Fancy yourself an electronics-minded inventor? Well, here's your chance: John Young, the Pentagon's Director of Defense Research and Engineering, just announced a public prize competition to develop a wearable "electric power system" for soldiers. The grand prize: $1 million (with $500,000 for second place and $250,000 for third place). Here are the guidelines:
"The essential electronic equipment that dismounted warfighters carries today - radios, night vision devices, global positioning system - runs on batteries. This competition will gather and test the good ideas for reducing the weight of the batteries that service members carry. The prize objective is a wearable, prototype system that can power a standard warfighter's equipment for 96 hours but weighs less than half that of the current batteries carried. All components, including the power generator, electrical storage, control electronics, connectors and fuel must weigh four kilograms or less, including any attachments.Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in a final competitive demonstration planned for the fall of 2008. At this "wear-off," individuals or teams will demonstrate their prototype systems under realistic conditions. The top three competitors that demonstrate a complete, wearable system that produces 20 watts average power for 96 hours but weighs less than 4 kilograms (~8.8 lbs) will win the prizes.
A public information forum will be held in September in the Washington, D.C. area to brief potential competitors on the technical details, the competition rules, and qualification requirements. Competitors must register to participate in the prize program by Nov. 30, 2007. The competition is open for international participation; however the individual or team leader must provide proof of U.S. citizenship. Details on the forum, as well as contest registration and rules are posted on the Defense Research and Engineering Prize Web site http://www.dod.mil/ddre/prize."
Let the most energy efficient design win!
Via ::Wired: Million Dollar Power Contest (blog), ::DoD Announces "Wearable Power" Prize Competition (press release)