Smart Sensing Uniforms for Emergency Operators


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Textile integration of smart sensor systems is the key technology for the success of future e-garments oriented to emergency operators. Ubiquitous recording and transmission of human and environmental data will allow combining comfort and protection leveraging with the existing smart textile, microelectronics and telecommunication technologies. The challenge offered by emergency situation is mainly in the difficulty to acquire data in a very aggressive environment, during hard physical activity; conditions that will increase the risks of signals artefacts, as well as the presence of positive and negative false events. Security is addressed through the implementation of systems combining body sensing platform, for health alertness and environment sensing platform for context awareness; the full system has also to guarantee protective functionality. State of art textile technology allows the monitoring of heart and respiratory rate, humidity rate, activity rate, GSR and EMG, while core and external temperature, posture via accelerometers, absolute position via GPS are easily monitored through standard sensors. The body sensing platform requires a direct contact with the operator skin leading to the implementation of a sensing inner garment, at the same time environment platform are integrated in a protective jacket that is also hosting the alarm systems and the electronic unit for signal processing and transmission hardware. This paper is reporting about a study done with a pioneer e-textile system named Wealthy on healthy subjects during extreme conditions. Wealthy platform is currently evolving in a new one, specially designed for emergency scenarios, developed in the frame of the project Proetex, a preliminary description of the new system is presented; the new system that is under first testing phase, has been designed to be used without interfering with operator activities.



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R. Paradiso et al., "Smart Sensing Uniforms for Emergency Operators", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 60, pp. 101-110, 2008

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September 2008