Expeditionary Equipment: Environmental & Life Support Solutions

By October 12, 2011 Industry News No Comments
Enviromental & Life Support Solutions

Enviromental & Life Support Solutions

Learn more about ADS Expeditionary and Energy Efficiency Solutions.

Extreme Environments

Warfighters serving in forward operating bases of all sizes must deal with extreme environmental conditions that if not dealt with effectively, will negatively impact readiness and can possibly impede operational capabilities. Environmental equipment includes everything from heating and cooling systems, to hygiene support equipment, to lighting and even flooring. Together, these systems form the backbone of the warfighter’s daily existence, providing levels of comfort in otherwise brutal climate conditions, as well as enabling mission-critical operational capabilities. They have a dramatic impact on both fuel and water consumption, and are therefore important when it comes to ensuring efficient usage patterns and decreasing logistical support requirements.

Alaska Structures 10-Ton ECU

Alaska Structures 10-Ton ECU

Heating and Cooling

Traditionally, Environmental Control Units (ECU’s) have contributed significantly to high consumption of power. They typically house the air conditioning and electric resistive heating elements in one compact unit and come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations to provide efficient heating and cooling in moderate to hot environments. Unless alternative powers sources are used in conjunction, ECU’s are big fuel consumers, so operational planners need to pay special attention when designing and implementing this integral component of any forward installation, especially when extreme weather conditions are the norm. ECU’s typically employ heavy-duty casters for on-site mobility and are stackable for efficient storage and shipment on 463L master pallets. They also typically work with both US and European power supplies. Another popular option is GET (Generator/ECU/Trailer) shelter support trailers that provide power, heating and cooling, and extra storage in a HMMWV towable package. They are also easily transported by airlift and most ECU’s are designed for fast installation of air ducts and power cables.

HDT 35K BTU/Hr, Self Powered Convective Space Heater

HDT 35K BTU/Hr, Self Powered Convective Space Heater

Energy Efficient Shelter Heaters

In colder environments (below 40°F) shelter heaters burn diesel fuel (including JP8) for high-efficiency combustion. Self-powered heaters include a thermoelectric generator that supplies power for both combustion and air handling. Larger, powered heaters are also available that utilize 110v blowers for air handling. All shelter heaters work well in outdoor operation and utilize ducting to bring clean, fresh air into the shelter enclosure. Many models come with safety features such as carbon monoxide detectors and conveniences such as remote controls. Advanced models also offer fuel vaporization with safe and reliable fuel control as well as compatibility with select Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) filtration systems.


Stringable shelter lighting is offered in both EMI/RFI hardened and non-EMI/RFI hardened types, each featuring rugged casings, rubberized corners and 120/240v daisy-chain operation. Designed for heavy duty field use, stringable lighting reduces the size of the cube in comparison to older style tent lights. Compact design allows for one-man set up and is easy to transport. For exterior lighting, tactical, diesel-drive, mobile light towers operate up to 64 hours on a single tank of fuel. Tactial “Glo Bug” light stands are another option that provide 360° glare-free lighting. By employing energy efficient bulbs and reducing breakage with hardened casings, warfighters can have a dramatic impact on enegy consumption


Ready-fold flooring is ideal for high traffic areas inside shelters as well as outdoor walkways. It provides a semi-rigid flooring surface that adds an insulation barrier to boost energy efficiency inside shelters. Ready Fold is available pre-cut for most shelter models or can be purchased in square foot sections. It is a slat-based flooring systems which offers superior cabling management and packs easily for storage or transport. Flooring units may be arranged in unlimited configurations or shapes and provides a durable flooring solution for all shelter types.

Hygiene Support

In theater, water is a limited and mission-critical resource. Therefore, it poses the same challenges as liquid fuel, requiring the protection of large, vulnerable convoys as it is transported to war fighters. Water is essential for military operations, drinking, hygiene, sanitation, food preparation and medical care. When designing and constructing forward operating positions, warfighters must dedicate their focus in maximizing the efficient use of water resources as more and more demands are placed upon supplies. Energy efficient hygiene support equipment includes portable shower units and sinks, along with corresponding water heaters, water bladders, and distribution pumps and manifolds. The treatment and disposal of sanitary wastewater is a human health and environmental issue for installations just like in civilian populations. The release of pollutants or other materials by a FOB into a stream or groundwater might contaminate the only water supply to which native civilian populations in areas of conflict have access, making it imperative that planners consider downstream effects. Water supply and distribution, water use, and wastewater treatment are all issues that are interrelated and influence energy and sustainability. The extraction, treatment and delivery of water to the end user is a highly energy intensive process. Measures that use and distribute potable water more efficiently and with less leakage will result in significant reductions in energy consumption.

  • Two-Door shower kits feature easy installation and two individual stalls. The kit requires no tools for assembly and even contains roll-up floor matting.
  • Diesel water heaters, potable water bladders, distribution pumps and manifolds are available to customize installations. Gray water bladders and sump drain pumps are also available to capture runoff from showers and sinks.
  • 2-Gang and 3-gang sink units operate either stand alone or multiple units easily connect for larger implementations. They are self contained in rugged aluminum cabinets and offer unbreakable lexan mirrors.