Tag: United States Military

Where is my ARC reactor at?

Anyone familiar with the Iron Man genre would know about the fabled ARC reactor powering his suit, and it looks like SOCOM working on ‘Iron Man’ suit, can benefit from it!

Old-fashioned battery power is proving to be the biggest challenge in the military’s push to develop an “Iron Man suit,” a futuristic full-body armor that aims to offer individual troops a revolutionary level of protection and capability on the battlefield.

Adm. William McRaven, chief of U.S. Special Operations Command, said his team is in the final stages of procuring prototypes for the first-of-its-kind suit that will fully cover a service member with ballistic protection and also have internal displays to provide intelligence and communications.

The first three prototypes of what is officially known as the Tactical Assault Light-Operator Suit, or TALOS, will be delivered to SOCOM in June, McRaven said.

Power is always the problem with these things. You need a shit load of power, and reality is that things like the ARC reactor are just fantasy. I remember big talk about nuclear powered batteries solving these issues back in the day, but the things have problems nobody has figured out how to overcome.

This Iron Man suit is not the first instance of power issues affecting weapons systems. The US NAVY has wanted to use more futuristic weapons like Rail Guns and ship mounted LASERs for decades now, but power has always been the issue. Apparently it took a massive ship like the Zumwalt class to give them a platform big enough to have the power generation capacity for these exotic, but if they are made to work properly, incredibly valuable weapons systems. Getting it small enough to fit a mechanized man sized suit is going to be one heck of a challenge.

Whatever company solves these compact power generation and storage problem requirements, and believe me it will not be any kind of nonsense green technology that does this, will make a killing. Where is Robert Downey Jr. when you need him, huh?

Lost Potential

One day, not too long ago, I was reading about J. R. R. Tolkein, who survived the trenches of World War I and drew on their horrors when describing the Dead Marshes. I thought of how the world would be different if a bullet had been a few feet from its mark and all he was to create vanished in a spray of blood and bone. I thought of Earnest Hemingway, who narrowly missed death from a mortar shell. I thought of my second cousin, who almost vanished from the world, along with the children he would have, on the beaches of Normandy.

For the United States alone, 1.3 million men and women have had their stories cut short — left their novels unwritten, their children unborn, their monuments unbuilt. A city of people roughly the size of San Antonio have seen all that they were, all that they could have been, taken away in an instant. But it is that loss, that sacrifice that makes all of our stories possible — that allows our children to be born, our novels to be written, our monuments to be built, our potential to be met.

The only way to repay that debt is to live the lives they couldn’t and be worthy of them. And to read the stories of those who’ve gone.