Solider cooling systems are technologies used by soldiers to maintain their body temperatures and keep themselves cool, thus preventing injuries caused due to overheating. The physical and psychological stress of combat and harsh climatic conditions are factors which are difficult to alter. However, they could be overcome using different types of cooling systems. This technology is still in its research and development phase. Increasing use of technology in communication, weapons, and navigation has led to an additional load on soldiers who work in extremely inhospitable weather along with which they have to carry heavy weapons and armors. This makes them highly vulnerable to various risk factors. Reducing the weight of this burden is an ongoing process. Meanwhile, cooling vests are anticipated to reduce their strain.
The soldier cooling system market is primarily driven by increasing advancements in the optimization of heat exchange techniques, control technology, and refrigeration, which are likely to produce technologies that are cost-effective, compact, and efficient. Specialized cases with severe heat loading require additional air movement, larger cooling equipment, and sensors. Increasing need for national security caused by rising terrorism is bolstering the demand for military technologies and weapons. Moreover, concern for the health of soldiers is also fuelling the need for soldier cooling systems and technologies globally.
Lack of proper integration is a major factor restraining the growth of the soldier cooling system globally. Integration of electrical components is complex because of their bulky size. Another important factor is the high manufacturing costs involved.
Innovations in the battery technology and introduction of the micro cooling system create important opportunities for the global soldiers cooling system market. Soldiers are likely to wear micro climate conditioning packs which offer thermal regulation both for hot and cold environments.
The soldier cooling system market is bifurcated based on technology into the liquid cooling system, air cooling system, phase change material, and fluid replacement categories. One of the prominent advantages of the liquid cooling system is its effective removal of body heat. The air cooling system, on the other hand, uses ventilation. In this technology, air is blown into the airspace between the inner clothing layer and skin. There are systems available for dismounted soldiers that ventilate the air layer created by spacer materials under the ballistic vest. The ice vest is one such example of phase change material technology which absorbs heat when it changes form from solid to liquid. Currently, advancements are being made in the field of active thermal control. These systems reduce body temperature through liquid cooling pumped around the air conditioning and body. The institute of environmental medicine in the U.S. is exploring ways in which skin temperature is measured and used to regulate body temperature.
Furthermore, based on geography, the market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. North America is expected to be a lucrative market for soldier cooling systems, followed by Europe.
Key players in the soldier cooling system market are II-VI Marlow, Polar Products Inc., and Glacier Tek.
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