by Rocky
Published : 7 October 2004
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Related Links : wired.com


On The Move Hydration Systems is Army speak for keeping it's soldiers hydrated, or what the troops call by the manufacturer' name - Camelbak. It's a portable water carrying system, and you can see it depicted in the image below, where we have highlighted it in blue. I know Ghost Recon fans that have one of these strapped to the back of their chair so they don't have to get up mid-mission in Ghost Recon just for a drink!

Army personnel are already outfitted with CamelBaks (water pouches) that hook onto body armor, but at high temperatures the contents don't last long, and this is when it is vital to have adequate water supplies on site and at the ready, so how does it get there?

Keeping it's forces supplied with water is a logistical headache for the army, that's why their research brightsparks at DARPA were assigned to come up with the most efficient way to get drinking water to the front lines - and here's how they are doing it.

DARPA have been tasked with cutting the amount of the water the army has to carry by half. So where is the other half coming from? Well, they are going to take it from the exhaust fumes of their vehicles (see below), or just pluck it out of thin air! Here's how...

Water from the Air

"Our extraction of airborne water involves manipulation of surface chemistry using nanotechnology," William Warren, president of Sciperio, said in an interview

Based in Oklahoma, Sciperio Inc. carry out research funded by a number of agencies including DARPA, MIPT and AFOSR. During their $4 million research they have successfully trapped water vapor by passing air over liquid lithium chloride.

Reverse osmosis is then used to extract fresh water, and advanced pumps used to make the water palatable.

Water from Humvees

HMMWV with On-Board Water Recovery Unit (OBWRU)

Lexcarb, based in Kansas, are largely funded by DARPA, and were granted over $2 million for water-extraction research that the army could use to supply troops with water on-site.

This is their prototype humvee.


Basically diesel exhaust from humvees is combined with oxygen and cooled down, resulting in - water! The process is remarkably efficient and yields a gallon of H20 for every two gallons of diesel.Of course before the water is fit for drinking it has to pass through several filters, but after treatment, it is perfectly drinkable.


AFOSR Air Force Office of Scientific Research
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
MIPT Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism



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