September 2020 – HumanSystems Incorporated has been awarded $1,000,000 through the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program to continue its development of the Citadel (Pat. Pending) respirator designed to better protect soldiers in hazardous chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) environments.
This project follows a previous IDEaS contract to HumanSystems Incorporated in 2019 to develop a proof of concept design. Working with the DND’s science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), the goal of this 12-month project is to further develop the Citadel respirator design to the point where it can be tested in realistic operational environments.
“Recent changes to Canadian Armed Forces policies allow for short beards and longer hairstyles. This funding will bring the novel Citadel respirator concept closer to commercialization and to providing a more protective CBRN Respirator/Mask for individuals with various face/head shapes, hairstyles, and/or facial hair,” says Harry Angel, the HSI Citadel project technical lead.
The proof of concept Citadel respirator was designed to mitigate any leakage of contaminants into the respirator mask caused by various face shapes and/or beards or facial stubble. In preliminary user testing, individuals with beards or facial stubble could not achieve an acceptable fit factor with the standard protective mask, meaning that they were susceptible to contaminants entering the mask. The Citadel respirator design was able to achieve an acceptable fit factor well above the minimum acceptable standard. These promising results showed that people with beards and facial stubble would be significantly less vulnerable to contaminants entering the respirator mask.
The HSI technical team, Harry Angel and Jordan Bray-Miners, bring over 30 years of experience in human factors for personal protective equipment, biomechanics and instrumentation design.
“The HSI team is proud to work with DRDC and to advance the HSI Citadel respirator concept to better protect people in the armed forces and wherever such protection might be needed,” says Jordan Bray-Miners, Senior Consultant at HSI.
IDEaS supports the development of solutions from their conceptual stage, through prototype testing and capability development. The program includes several elements that promote collaboration between innovators, provides developmental resources and provides opportunities to interact with DND’s science and military members. Through which all innovators are on an even playing field to solve specific defence and security challenges. For more about the program, see here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national- defence/programs/defence-ideas.html