Vicenza, Italy — Hassan Azzam is passionate about his job as science advisor to U.S. Army Africa.
"I love my job. I find ways to use science and technology to help soldiers be safer and more efficient in the field," Azzam said.
Azzam's current projects are individual water purification system and portable solar and wind power systems.
"In the near future, we'll receive IWPS devices for use by personnel from USARAF, the Horn of Africa in Djibouti and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team," Azzam said.
The IWPS system is light weight and small enough to put a cargo pocket; can be used with hydration systems and standard water bottles alike.
"The IWPS allows personnel in remote or isolated settings to purify water from different sources. It removes microbes, viruses and other contaminants. In most cases, it even improves the taste of the water," he said.
Azzam is also studying ways for soldiers to use small alternative energy systems through solar and wind power generation.
"We're looking at portable power generating systems that can allow an individual or small group of people in remote areas the ability to produce enough power to recharge batteries for laptops, cell phones, digital cameras and other battery dependent devices," Azzam said.
For the past two years, a solar shade at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, has been working to produce approximately two kilowatts a day. The technology Azzam is researching is smaller and combines wind power generation. This hybrid power source is known as a RENEWS system or Reusing Existing Natural Energy Wind and Solar.
"There's a lot of emphasis on using renewable and existing natural energy sources. There are several benefits to natural energy sources. They are free; don't require resupply like gasoline or diesel generators. They are eco-friendly and silent. From a tactical point of view, they don't give away positions by making noise and giving off smoke. The enemy can't see nor can they hear the energy being produced by a solar panel or a small wind turbine. We're looking at a system that actually pairs solar and wind energy generation," Azzam said.
During the recent African Land Forces exercise, Azzam demonstrated a rucksack-enhanced portable power system to a group of African partner soldiers at the Singo Peace Support Training Center in Uganda.
In the future, USARAF soldiers in remote locations may be charging their laptops and other batteries via a portable solar/wind generating system while sipping from a bottle of water from a nearby stream that has been filtered by an IWPS.
Source: U.S. Army Africa