GE Works With Georgia Tech Research Institute to Understand Neurological Injuries of Wounded Soldiers

HUNTSVILLE, AL —JULY 16, 2013—GE Intelligent Platforms (NYSE: GE) today announced that it has been working closely with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to help improve the understanding of neurological injuries that can sometimes result for soldiers wounded by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). At the heart of the solution are GE’s commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Rugged Systems, which are designed to reduce cost, length of time to delivery, and program risk– three key requirements for GTRI.

GTRI was awarded the Integrated Blast Effects Sensor Suite (I-BESS) program by the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF).  The purpose of the I-BESS program is to record IED blast information that can later be analyzed by doctors to eventually help diagnose and determine the best way to treat soldiers with concussions or brain injuries. The REF provides rapid solutions to urgent combatant needs and required the I-BESS system on an accelerated schedule.

GE was able to provide a preconfigured, pre-validated, pre-tested COTS Rugged System within weeks of the initial request from GTRI – providing a substantial time saving and cost saving by comparison with GTRI developing a similar system independently. It also enabled the risk of delay to be minimized. The GE COTS Rugged System is used by GTRI as the main system for the collection of data from sensors on the vehicle and the soldier worn system when they are in the vehicle.

A successful demonstration of the COTS Rugged System resulted in orders for 50 systems, which GE was able to deliver in approximately 90 days from receipt of the order.

“GE’s involvement in this program has allowed us to be an integral part of a ground-breaking initiative that will potentially aid in greatly improving the quality of life for our servicemen and servicewomen,” said Mac Rothstein, Systems Product Manager, GE Intelligent Platforms. “For a critical program like this, timeliness and risk elimination were key factors – and GE’s COTS Rugged Systems were able to deliver on both counts.”

GE’s COTS Rugged Systems are packaged, pre-validated, computer systems that provide a rugged and highly flexible computing platform suited for mission applications requiring high reliability such as unmanned vehicles, ground vehicles and manned aircraft. They integrate boards and modules, drawn from GE’s wide selection of COTS products, into open modular systems that are tested and qualified for rugged systems deployment.  By providing preconfigured, pre-validated, pretested solutions, GE COTS Rugged Systems can substantially reduce cost, delivery time and program risk.

I-BESS is a system designed to measure blasts and other traumatic events on soldiers conducting mounted and dismounted operations and vehicles used in those operations in an integrated fashion.  When fielded, the system will be assessed for efficacy in providing an understanding of human exposure to explosive blasts and other trauma-related events, such as vehicle rollovers.

Sensors positioned in several locations throughout military vehicles will measure acceleration and orientation in real time when a traumatic event occurs.  Additional sensors will also be placed on the soldiers’ seats to capture a holistic picture of the event on an occupant.  For the soldier, the intended system will consist of a smart-phone-sized data recorder carried on the soldier’s person that will record and measure information from a variety of personal sensors including acceleration, overpressure and angular rate of the soldier when involved in an event.

GE’s COTS Rugged Systems will be used as a small, ruggedized data collection box housed within the vehicle compartment. 

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