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A real-life transformer.

In wartime situations, speed is a critical element of success, not just for the front line of battle, but also for the U.S. military's support structure. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, for example, requires rapid response mobile medical shelter technology to keep up with an army on the move. The Rapid Deployment Shelter System (RDSS) (aka Future Medical Shelter System), developed by Lee Bzorgi at BWXT Y-12 LLC, Oak Ridge, Tenn., was developed with this goal in mind.

At first glance, the RDSS is a standard ISO container, 2.4 m x 2.4 m x 6 m. When plugged in to a 24 V-DC power source, however, a single button push reveals a 37-[m.sup.2], hard-walled, two-table trauma center. Deployable in just two minutes, the RDSS securely carries up to 17 [m.sup.3] of equipment and is transportable by truck, rail, ship, helicopter, or airplane.

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A key innovation is a system of interlocking channeled aluminum walls supported by titanium hinges that allows RDSS to remain fully sealed--and resistant to nuclear, biological, or chemical contamination--during deployment and retraction. Weighing about 6,800 kg fully equipped, the RDSS also provides some small arms fire protection, and it requires no extra ground support after deployment.

Though designed specifically for military use, RDSS has the potential for other applications, such as emergency housing in disaster situations.

* BWXT Y-12 LLC, www.y12.doe.gov

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Title Annotation:Exclusives
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:240
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