Asahi Tactical Armor Unit (ATAU or A2 for short) Technical Specifications-
TAU Storage/Matience Facilities:
The TAU's Are usually maintained in a specialized powered combination lift / maintenance rack array which weighs fully twice as much as the TA itself and occupies three times the cubic volume. Utilizing these units, a technician can perform routine maintenance, upgrades, or repair battlefield damage to a TAU with relative ease. These maintenance units were often mounted by squad (a group of five racks), generally two squads are assigned to a single modular armored barracks building. The low, squat buildings, only a small part of which existed above ground, are often called "mausoleums" or "crypts" by the non-armored soldiers due not only to their design, but also inside the suits were stored in a slightly reclining position, almost as if they were 'dead'. Lit by various luminescent green and red lights, the effect of visiting a funeral parlor was only heightened.
Entering the Asahi Tactical Armor Unit is accomplished by a multiple segment and a split seam seal on the front. The legs and chest split open in a clamshell-like array, allowing the user to back slowly into the suit, insert first one leg, then the other, and finally strap into the suit. Inserting your arms into the suit brings the suit to full online (as opposed to both legs and torso in being a mechanic diagnostic setup level of operability). The user sits in what is called the ‘saddle’. This was a gel and pneumatic cushioned pelvic support for the user that cradles the center of mass and provides the ideal position from which to operate the heavy suit. The ‘stirrups’ held the feet of the wearer, and a set of ‘chaps’ enclosed around the thigh and shin of each leg, providing extra sensory input from the wearer to the onboard computer. A pair of pedals is located where the user’s feet rested, and these were used to control various degrees of motion as well as speed and the use of the suit thrusters. Pushing one pedal down sent the suit moving sideways rapidly in a controlled slide. Pushing the opposite pedal stopped the motion and even sent the suit in the exact opposite direction. Pushing both pedals down and releasing produces a limited, low-level jump assisted by the thermal plasma enhancement system of the jump jet array. Pushing the pedals down and holding them down produced a high altitude jump used to cover lots of ground at once or to clear tall obstacles.
The soldier inserts their arms into special ‘sleeves’ within the suit, which constrict to fit snugly against the arms. Both the chaps and sleeves aid in maintaining consciousness during high-speed jump jet assisted maneuvers as they could constrict even tighter to aid in blood pressure management. Special sensors located at the fingertips and micro switches were used to access various suit functions. The interface was designed to be as intuitive as possible. The interface setup is duplicated and has an emergency backup installed as well but the primary command interface of the ATAU relies on simple voice commands given by the wearer. The onboard could differentiate many short cut macros for complex actions and the wearer could even create new macros as desired or required.
A self-contained super fluid reactor supplies the power for the suit. The micro nuclear power source is fueled by one and a half liters of processed hydrogen and deuterium in an armored environmentally controlled tank. The Johansen style reactor is a heavy water based stellerator type reactor, triple safety interfaces, and is incapable of ‘going critical’ or exploding like a bomb (on Most occasions. nothing is perfect). It uses a figure 8 shaped coil to heat hydrogen to a plasma state, and then the thermal energy is used to generate electrical power for the suit. Damage to the containment vessel simply purged super hot plasma and shut down the system, with a subsequent loss of power and hydraulics. Sometimes, damage to the containment vessel vented the plasma into the fighting compartment with expected results. There is also an extensive battery backup and storage capacity, giving the infantryman the ability to ‘limp’ home in an emergency, provided the home base or help wasn’t more than twenty kilometers away and that no combat conditions would be encountered.
The strength augmentation of the suit is provided not only by heavily filtered multi-valve compressor equipped hydraulics using fully synthetic fluid with a very high boiling temp, but also by electronically activated artificial myomer musculature and heavy duty reinforced servos. The ‘muscle structure’ of the ATAU works in conjunction, carefully, integrated towards overall performance with the natural design of the human body. The entire musculature operates through semi-logarithmic force multiplication; push a little and you get your own strength, push a little harder, and you get enhancement from the suit musculature. Push a lot, and the full enhancement of the suit stepped in. An individual wearing a TA can perform some truly amazing feats of physical strength and endurance. The suit hydraulics allowed the user to lift twice the suit weight (about 1.5 metric tons) and to push or pull up to twice that amount for short distances. An ATAU equipped soldier can crush brick, stone, and even light armor plate in their armored hand, punch through a reinforced wood or cinder block wall, kick a hole in a lightly armored unit or tear a hatch off an armored car and throw it a city block.
The musculature of the suit is installed in Duplicate, allowing for a high degree of damage to be taken before a TA was rendered immobile or paralyzed. The sub processors, four of them, operating off of the Onboard, were stepped to route muscle functions to the first available array. Thus if the first myomer is torn in the shoulder assembly and one torn in the forearm assembly, the sub processors would automatically reroute the request for movement and strength augmentation to the second myomer in the shoulder assembly and the second myomer in the forearm assembly ((note: the duplicate myomer set of bundles is installed as a back-up system and CANNOT be used at the same time as it would interfere, and possibly rip the overlaying myomer causing paralysis in the appendage, this cannot be rerouted, its just how it works)). Battlefield repairs of myomer packs and strands is possible by the wearer alone using tools supplied with the suit but this requires for the most part that the user un-suit to work on the damaged components. With the integration of Fuzzy logic programming, the ATAU is now capable of compensating for damage nearly instantly allowing the pilot a massive combat advantage over enemy units
Each suit is armored with many layers of composite materials. The interior of the suit and the wearer are protected by a layer of micro-porous anti-bacterial / anti-spall ballistic cloth. Vital equipment was protected with individual segmented and easily replaceable modular component armor wrapped in a Hybrid Ballistic Weave (HBW) cast. The HBW was a very strong material, twenty times stronger than steel on average and itself a byproduct of the molecular engineering and study of arachnid silk. Spungrown to nearly perfect tolerance, the HBW cast proved to offer excellent protection and resistance from low velocity fragments, most man portable rounds, and other battlefield debris.
A weave of dedicated radiation absorbing material (DRAM) was added to the HBW layer for further protection from background and residual radiation. A thin layer of modular aligned high density Polymer a 2mm thick was the last layer of defense and was applied over all other components and shrink fit to seal any gaps. The outer armor consisted of dedicated 2cm thick HDFC plates, which rode on a comfortable ballistic gel sandwich. The plates were articulated for full freedom of movement without sacrificing any individual location armor protection.
The design of the electronics of the TA is an exercise in ergonomics. The onboard dedicated computer is non-sentient by every means of the word, but the individual infantryman would-be hard pressed to tell the difference. Such was the capacity to respond to the user and provide feedback and input that most infantry take the onboard as a ‘ghost’ in the machine. Controlling all aspects of the TAU, receiving input from over a hundred and seventy-five dedicated sensors, the onboard computer system is one of the most advanced of its kind. Operating with a speed of 250Ghz, using up to six gigabytes of ROM, and having a storage capacity of 20 Terabytes, the onboard was proofed against EMP and battlefield environmental conditions. Its armored housing allowed it to operate under heavy battlefield conditions including shrapnel, shock, overpressure, heat, and stress. The onboard gave the Pilot full data handoff for a variety of sensors and sensory input. Bondings between the onboard and the TA operator are common. Tales of infantry with damaged suits refusing to be issued another suit unless the old onboard was pulled and installed into the new suit are commonplace and are the studies of several military psychiatric reports.
The HUD of the suit is updated two hundred and fifty times a second with information from the onboard. Targets were searched for using a variety of sensory inputs, from visual comparison, motion table review, thermal imaging, micro pulse radar, LADAR, unit handoff signal (varied to input), and acoustic. Each suit is fully capable of linking to any Friendly Satellites orbiting above for updates. Most updates were broadcast wide band protected so a blanket effect went out to all suits operating in a given area. Targets once identified are called up from data logs and full information on the target was available, including any recent information or damage as noted by other units. Updates on new units were rapidly sent to the front line units and information spread at the highest speed on the digital battlefield.
The HUD is the portal to the battlefield for the soldier. It provides compact yet precise and easy to use information on all current conditions. Radiation count, direction, speed, wind speed, wind direction, toxin count, bio toxin count, suit integrity, onboard supplies, munitions, suit condition, user medical condition, and a host of other information. An integrated targeting computer allows for lead calculation, projectile speed, individual hit location targeting, and deflection. Tactical displays in both vector and high resolution visual are available, as well as infra-red imaging, thermal imaging, movement sensor display, micro pulse radar with selectable range bands and an advanced communications suite with integrated IFF are all available. The optics of the suit is liquid crystal microprocessor controlled. The special fluid optics are configurable by the onboard to meet demand and were capable of telescopic resolutions of 1000x2000 power, up to 1000 increments at up to 2000 power magnification with window within a window optioning. Field of view remains constant due to microprocessor controlled and AI-defined ‘blend rendering’. Information for the visual display was rendered based on micro pulse feedback, and filled in from onboard data when not available. Total resolution was 1m at 2km visual, enhanced further by any of the options such as HRIR, thermal imaging, or tactical readouts. Voice command for the suit is standard, but redundant control switches for the various displays were duplicated in tactile switches located throughout the suit. Everything is set up to be intuitive as much as possible, so that the suit became less a piece of armor, and more like an extension of the soldier, an indispensable extension that provided surveillance and information gathering capacity from total concealment.
Sensory input and augmentation includes not only visual redefinition of the scanned area (allowing microprocessor manipulation of details and sensor information for razor sharp images under all conditions), but also acoustic tracking. The enhanced acoustic sensors of the suit could detect and identify units by the various sounds that they made. The sound of an enemy light Tank was different in pitch and tone than a regular Tank or an APC. Sounds detected are matched to thermal images, image overlays, true 3D models, and a variety of other data, all in a microsecond to identify an enemy unit. Range was determined through complex algorithms involving laser range finding, and visual comparison through microprocessor controlled liquid optic arrays. The liquid optic array was cryogenically cooled with the visual processor located in the central torso, up and behind the wearer. The soldiers called the entire virtual sense array a ‘tank’, for the first impression one got after climbing into a suit for the first time was that they were in a fish tank looking out. Multiple arrays can be called up by voice or auxiliary input, and stacked or resized or arranged as required by the user.
A powered high-speed motor equipped periscope style array is located over the shoulder of the ATAU. This unit could extend a multi-sensor up to one meter above or to the side of the suit, allowing the user to stay in cover while looking over a hill, out of a gully, or around a corner of a blasted building in an urban environment. It also allowed a user to look in second story levels of buildings or stay submerged under water and maintain a very small presence above the surface. All suit sensory input is available through the periscope system and infantrymen quickly learn how to use this device to their advantage. Spare periscopes are included in the armorer’s shop at all PK service depots, and the periscope was designed to sheer off with damage rather than absorb the damage and possibly carry damage back to the suit. All input leads from the periscope were breakered for feedback protection.
Armored screened intakes over the back of the suit sucked in ambient air, and use part of the plasma heat exchanger to super heat this air into over thrust usable by the battledress though dumping the superheated air into the mixture generated a massive thermal spike readily visible on tactical target acquisition sensors. The ceramic material of the fan blades was proof against the high wash temp for extended periods of time but general practice was not to use the over thrust potential unless necessary as it allowed the enemy sensors a huge advantage when scanning for targets thermally. The microbursts of thrust provided by the jump jet array could be applied to each side individually, at angles, and even straight down, allowing the wearer to generate ‘jumps’ of up to 50 meters at a time. Most Pilots learn that short, low, quick ‘bounces’ were the way to cross-terrain quickly. Fights between ATAU's are often a balance between maneuvering, jumps, and sideways jumps. Jumps are coordinated initially by the user, monitored by the onboard, and final landing is handled by a joint effort, with the suit onboard and gyro working to aid the wearer in ‘setting her down’. The entire wearer ‘brace’ is mounted on shock absorbing cylinders and webbing, so that the suit took almost all of the G-shock of landing and impact. Extensive use of ballistic gelatin bladders, air bags, and powered restraint harnesses kept the wearer from being thrown around during a hard landing. Damage, nearby explosions, nukes, etc. can cause the gyro to lose its lock and the suit may ‘tumble’ in flight. The flash of a TAU equipped soldier making a jump, even a small one, was very visible on thermal imaging and infrared sensors (the entire suit Is braced against severe impacts (from all directions), in order to protect against damage to the pilot)
The SLICS is a complex system of squad level LOS and indirect networking among the high performance tactical computers. The Squad Net integrated each TAU equipped soldier into an operational unit and doctrine solution that was greater than the sum of its individual parts. Utilizing SLICS, an entire squad of TAU equipped soldiers’ functions as one greater effective unit, instead of as many lesser effective individual units. What one soldier knew or could see, sense, smell, detect, the entire squad knew equally well. All information from one suit or soldier was instantly available to every other member of the squad. Hand off of munitions is done flawlessly between individual soldiers, and with the squad dedicated tactical drones. Entire squad level coordination of point defense against indirect fire munitions and TAC missiles was coordinated through each suit's microprocessors, giving instant information to the entire squad. SLICS also worked to integrate the EMS of the squad into one homogenous source, working to blend the squad into the background and 'phase' it out of enemy targeting systems reach. Suit emissions were carefully monitored by the SLICS and individuals were electro magnetically 'bled' selectively to match their backgrounds at a constant rate, monitored both locally by the individual suits which 'buddy checked' each other several hundred times a second, to the remote tactical drones which did 'removed' views of the squad to make sure that no EMS spikes were readily visible to the enemy. Target reference and engagement; target spotting, and integration into the mass of data, which became the norm. The entire squad works flawlessly and seamlessly as one mobile unit, pooling resources and operating on a squad level instead of an individual level, as had been the case before SLICS. Efficiency goes up dramatically, as combat losses decrease.
Primary Weapon systems available to TA Units:
-Thompson T4D 3cm Squad Support Weapon Systems (SSWS)- Support at the squad level was provided by the big, semi-portable Thompson T4D spread bore gel-injected pseudorecoiless mass repeater. The Thompson T4D is officially classified as a 'support' weapon providing both area and point cover fire, but its additional ability to easily defeat unarmored to moderately armored vehicles at close range is legendary. T4Ds were designed with two dedicated tactical microprocessors operating in tandem with the tactical onboard of the suit the weapon was assigned to, in turn coordinating joint T4D operation seamlessly into the whole of the SLICS system. The T4D was designed to operate in tandem with another T4D unit in order to achieve optimal field performance.
Three hot swap hardware ports are incorporated into the design of the T4D system, with the 30% lighter and 28% deadlier T4E system, The hot swap ports allowed additional modules and enhancement / battle packs to be installed on the fly, or changed out as required by mission protocols. Typical packs included the C45 Barris Enhanced Intel / Recon (BEIR) pack (same as carried by position One of the standard squad), an ECM / ECCM blister pack which enhanced the operation of the T4D user and the squad as a whole, and a host of other packs. A very aggressive ECM and ECCM blister pack was introduced for use with the T4E systems (incompatible with the T4Ds due to port and hardware configuration differences) that greatly enhanced the PLIEADS system and the sub processed T4E network.
The cassette that fed the T4D was helical in design and loaded along the underside of the weapon, to the rear third, holding 90 three-centimeter caliber rounds. The 3cm caliber rounds were 'caseless' in only the strictest sense of the word, because the T4 family was operated on the Gel injection pseudo recoilless principle using a series of computer controlled injectors to deliver a small supply of X4HE gel propellant into the action of the weapon (the detonated using a small electric primer), the amount is determined by several criteria; range to target, target armor capacity, target hit location, target speed, target facing, and direct or indirect fire mode. The tougher or farther away the target was, the more gel propellant is required and the greater the recoil. Velocity is variable depending on what was required and could range from an easy overhand indirect launch / toss to an atmosphere scorching eight klicks per second. Range of the T4 family is phenomenal, almost 3000 meters at full velocity.
Ammunition was designed to be switched rapidly and up to three helical cassettes could be stored in a rotary array, allowing the firer to choose ammunition types on the fly. Generally a mixture of: high explosive, high explosive anti-personnel, and flechette anti-personnel.