The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) in collaboration with the Defence Research and Defence Organization (DRDO) are working to develop a smart, intelligent and relatively cheaper jacket with unique feature and design, integrated with interconnects antennas, sensors and chips for soldiers. It will be lighter in weight and lower in price compared to the current one.

Features like signal processing chip, chemical sensor and communication chip will help the soldiers in mobility, threat detection and communication. Textile-based flexible circuit boards and multi-chip modules will be developed in the initial stage. Next, modeling, fabrication and testing of different types of radio frequency and microwave antennas on textile-based and polymeric substrates will take place. Finally, several kinds of sensors will be developed and integrated into the textiles.

Anuj Dhawan, Professor-in-charge of the project said that the project is in the initial stage. Its time period is five years but our target is to get the jackets ready by the next three years. At IIT-D’s Joint Advanced Technology Centre (JATC) set up by DRDO where more than a dozen researchers are working on developing the jacket in three phases at the JATC research vertical Smart and Intelligent Textile, according to the IIT-D website.

An official said that these features embedded in the jacket will be very helpful to the soldiers in every circumstance. For instance, the gas sensors will help detect the gases and identify their type and through communication chips, soldiers can pass on messages and at times of emergency, inform the other soldiers or seek help.