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Archive for November, 2006

DI Daniel Pressl and DeltaX receive $1000 of funding at the ISN Soldier Design Competition semifinals

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

S.M. Stephen Steiner III and DI Daniel Pressl in front of their poster featuring the design of a novel insulation material approach for army needs.

The team DeltaX was cheered upon introducing their novel approach of combining new materials into a simple design to make insulation superior to any currently in use. The team received the maximum amount of funding of $1000 and is already planning to build the prototype to compete at the finals, spring 2007.

ISN in the NEWS

2003, MIT contest designed to help soldiers

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first annual Soldier Design Competition, an auditorium of students listened intently to a towering paratrooper in a buzz cut. While he spoke, students took turns trying on his Kevlar vest. The body armor, made of a carbon composite material, weighs 16 pounds — about the heft of a typical college backpack — and it is hard to imagine strapping it on during a hot day in Iraq.

The paratrooper, Lieutenant Col. Charles Dean, who wore the jacket and 90 pounds of additional gear when he fought in Afghanistan last year, said it was unbelievably uncomfortable, but better than no protection at all.

That’s why Dean was at the event: To see if any of the fresh-faced students before him can help the Army keep its soldiers safe without weighing them down so much. Dean wants them to use their engineering creativity to design better protective clothing, backpacks and even quiet Velcro that won’t attract the enemy’s attention when ripped open on the battlefield.

The prize: $5,000 and the chance to put their technology on the market.

Each five-member team — which must include at least two students and be rounded out by others with an MIT connection — has until Monday to come up with a rough scheme. A panel of scientists and senior military personnel will winnow those ideas down on Nov. 17 to semifinalists, who will get $750 to spend on materials to build a prototype. First-, second- and third-prize winners will be declared in February.

Competition categories include making bolt cutters that are smaller and lighter than the current Army-issued version, which weigh 10 pounds. Soldiers have been buying their tools from Home Depot instead.

And then there is the “holy grail,” a self-cooling soldier suit.

“Managing a person’s temperature while they work is a hard problem,” said Edwin “Ned” Thomas, MIT professor of Materials Science and director of the school’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. “Solutions can’t be bulky. If you are in Iraq and Afghanistan and the air temperature is 110 degrees, and you are carrying a rucksack and body armor, your body temperature may go up to 125 degrees.”

“The idea was to tap into the talent pool of undergrads and get students thinking about real Army problems,” Thomas said. The contest is sponsored by corporate partners such as DuPont, Dow Corning and Raytheon.


© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

2fast4u and Redwired in Collaboration with the St. Paul Maturaball 2007

Monday, November 27th, 2006


Next year on the 6th of January the St. Paul Maturaball will take place again in the magically transformed rooms of the Konvikt in St. Paul, Wolfsberg. iPressl is one of the main sponsors of the ball with its projects 2fast4u and Redwired.

The audience will be shown a preview of the magnificent collection of High-Speed Photography and Videography, of the 2fast4u exhibition, which will be presented at the first Science Ausstellung in Wolfsberg in the same year.

iPressl joins DELTAX, the MIT Space Elevator Team

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Space Elevator Concept.

The purpose of the Tether Challenge is to develop a very strong tether material for use in various structural applications. The competition requires a 50% improvement in breaking force from year to year, starting with a commercially available tether in 2005. Additional requirements (such as operating temperature range, vacuum compatibility, and controlled electrical conductivity) will be added in future years.

The Tether Challenge will be conducted in two rounds. The first round will pit tethers from two teams directly against each other to determine the team with the strongest tether. The second round will determine if the first-round winner is at least 50% stronger than a house tether that represents off-the-shelf materials. If it is, that team will win the competition.

A space elevator would consist of such a tether attached to Earth’s surface, reaching into space. A space elevator is a theoretical structure designed to transport material from a planet’s surface into space. Many different types of space elevators have been proposed. They all share the goal of replacing rocket propulsion with the traversal of a fixed structure via a mechanism not unlike an elevator in order to move material into or beyond orbit.

DeltaX is a team of 5 MIT scientists trying to challenge themselves with unsolved problems of the industry and academic research.

In alphabetical order:

Brenda Long

Dipl. Ing. Daniel G Pressl

Ph.D. John Hart

Lauren Deflores

Megan Tsai

Namiko Yamamoto

S.M. Stephen Steiner II

Redwired Beta opens

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006