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Friday, October 31, 1997

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Georgia Tech Researchers Develop 'Woven Computer'

Scientists at Georgia Tech have created the world's first "woven computer," a T-shirt for soldiers that will save lives on battlefields of the future.

Developed under contract with the U.S. Navy Department, the "Sensate Liner for Combat Casualty Care" uses optical fibers to detect bullet wounds and special fibers to monitor vital signs in combat.

The T-shirt functions like a computer, with plastic optical fibers and conducting fibers woven throughout the fabric of the shirt.

"The idea is to send a 'signal' from one end of the plastic optical fiber to a receiver at the other end," said Dr. Sundaresan Jayaraman, a professor in the School of Textile and Fiber Engineering and the principal investigator of the project. "If the light from one end does not reach the other end, we know the Sensate Liner has been penetrated."

The optical-fiber shirt is combined with a "Personal Status Monitor" that measures a soldier's heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, which can help a doctor determine the extent of a soldier's injuries. In addition to military applications, the Sensate Liner holds potential for use by law enforcement personnel as well.

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