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Look through the eyes of TNO and discover how we contribute to a brighter future by preparing for peacekeeping missions. How do we ensure adequate preparation? And how do we handle stressful situations?
Resilience is the key word regarding extreme situations. We can’t change the level of intensity of some situations, but we can train resilience and set out well prepared. Training resilience is far from easy. How does one mimic conditions in such a way that simulated experiences feel true to life? TNO has delved deep into this. Think of lifelike virtual reality, climate chambers able to generate wind, heat up, and cool down, as well as ingenious technological solutions to aid our fighter-jet pilots. Read more about them in this impressive selection from TNO’s innovations.
The conditions that military personnel have to cope in are incredibly complex. Preparing well for such conditions can only be done through training. Luckily, simulation exists. Simulation technology is developing at a rapid pace. TNO is using this technology to integrate three forms of simulation, thus creating an optimal mix to make training exercises as lifelike as possible. ‘We practice for tomorrow’s missions using the data we collected yesterday.’ This statement lies at the heart of TNO’s simulation research.
You can definitely refer to being at an altitude of ten kilometres while flying at a speed of 2,000 kilometres per hour as an extreme condition. Our JSF, the F-35, comes equipped with the latest technology. Although this is amazing in itself, all the technology on offer in the F-35 does demand more from its pilot, who, incidentally, must also deal with tremendous g-forces while piloting the aircraft. ‘How can we offer these men and women even better support?’ This is a question that TNO and its partners are asking at the joint innovation centre, Aeolus. Together, we’re working on smart helmet innovations, trainings that mimic the working conditions of pilots even more realistically, and a flight sensing shirt that uses integrated sensors to monitor the pilot’s wellbeing.
How do you test performance under extreme weather conditions? Of course, you can ask your local butcher whether you can use his cold room, but if you’re serious, TNO’s climate chamber is your best option. Able to reach temperatures ranging from -30 degrees Celsius to +60, generate an air humidity ranging from 10 to 90 percent, and with the capacity to replicate hard bursts of wind and imitate the experience of a blistering sun, the climate chambers are unique in the Netherlands. Military personnel (and even national top athletes preparing for Japan) who have to perform under difficult conditions, wearing special clothing or equipment, undergo wide-ranging tests in these two modern, well-equipped chambers.
Being responsible for the safety of a demonstration or tending to an injured person as ambulance staff with drunken bystanders on their night out on the town — employees charged with making sure the Netherlands remains safe are under a lot of pressure. How can we keep them mentally fit and ready to be deployed? TNO is developing methods and tools to improve the functioning of these professionals in ‘high-risk settings’ by stimulating talent development and monitoring their learning processes and resilience.