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Defense and Intelligence

Five Organizations Receive IARPA Contracts to Develop Smart Textiles

SMART ePANTS program

Five Organizations Receive IARPA Contracts to Develop Smart Textiles

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded five organizations prime research contracts to participate in Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems, a program to develop active smart textiles that can record audio, video and geolocation data.

Arete, Leidos, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nautilus Defense and SRI International received awards under a broad agency announcement. The initiative is expected to last for 42 months.

Dawson Cagle, program manager of SMART ePANTS at IARPA, explained that no organization has developed electronics that behave like normal clothing.

The technology produced under SMART ePANTS could be used to assist personnel working in dangerous environments such as crime scenes and arms control inspections, IARPA said Tuesday.

In 2022, the agency posted a request for information regarding ASTs that can ensure wearers’ safety by sensing and communicating potential environmental dangers. According to IARPA, advances have been made in the field of wearable electronics such as conductive polymer wires powered by the human body and low-power computers.

The U.S. Army funded MIT research and development work on a soldier uniform fiber that transmits data and powers sensors.

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