The Cricket System successfully completes Phase I R&D work for the Army’s SBIR grant program

Posted by admin on April 30, 2012  /   Posted in News

Following a six month long testing and analysis period with the US Army, the RDM proved its potential value to the US military and to other users that may deploy to harsh environments around the world. As part of the US Army’s “Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)” program, Cricket was awarded a grant to study the RDM’s feasibility for extreme environment deployment. Specifically, the RDM had to be easily transported and set up by two persons in 30 minutes or less; it had to be able to withstand winds of up to 100mph and it had to endure a temperature range of between -25°F to 140°F as energy efficiently as possible. Additional considerations were snow load strength and low cost. Working with both a full-sized unit set up for the winter in a nearby meadow and lab testing of materials, the RDM met all criteria of the SBIR Topic with flying colors. Test builds of a number of units showed setup times of as little as 20 minutes. The test unit survived winds and snows all winter, culminating in a storm that dumped 8″ of wet snow driven by 50+mph winds on it and did so without a hitch. Our computer analysis of the system also shows that, with proper ground anchoring, the RDM as currently configured can withstand 100+mph winds with less than 1/2″ deflection along it’s longest side. Lastly, tests in the lab and of the field unit showed that the RDM as-is is more than five times more energy efficient than current military-type tents, and with a few tweaks to our system, it can be more than TEN times more energy efficient. According to Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson (US Army Ret.), former head of logistics for Gen David Patraeus, the US military spends more than $20B USD annually heating and cooling tents. If we can help to deploy shelter units for troop quarters, medical, admin and other uses that are up to ten times more energy efficient than what is in use now, that’s a huge factor when considering cost, logistics, carbon footprint and most especially the lives of our service men and women. According to the Army Engineers we were working with, they were excited to see that we were “finishing strong.”

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