How to stay visible in Antarctic weather thanks to SUNFIBRE® Technology?

This is the question that SUNFIBRE® technology will try to answer. Currently, another scientific expedition is getting ready, which will travel to the Czech scientific station Johann Gregor Mendel in Antarctica. This time, the polar explorers will bring SUNFIBRE® technology with them a product of SCILIF s.r.o. The technology is a unique optic fibre lighting system, which increases visibility in the dark or low light conditions. Unlike retroreflective safety elements, it emits light through optical fibres inside a textile coating. In addition to their activities, the team will test SUNFIBRE® in the extreme conditions of the Arctic, and their conclusions will decide whether to award it the "Tested in Antarctica" trademark. This feedback will be valuable in our forward development of the SUNFIBRE® product.

11 Dec 2023

Demonstration of Wereable Active Lighting Technology from SCILIF s.r.o.

Practical use and motivation for testing in Antarctica is described by account manager Tereza Budská. "We are constantly exploring how far SUNFIBRE® technology can be pushed. When we learned that there was an opportunity to test it in Antarctica and obtain a trademark, we knew it was a chance for us to verify and ensure that our technology has no competition in this segment." The test results could therefore be a valuable indicator for the company of how to proceed with the further development of the technology and whether and how to further improve it.

The SUNFIBRE® technology has already been tested for high visibility, washability, and durability. Now, SCILIF s.r.o. would like to see how it performs in extreme weather conditions. In the harsh environment of Antarctica, properties such as visibility in "white darkness" and other possible reactions that are not detectable anywhere else will be tested. Another reason for this decision is that while retroreflective tapes are a widely used solution for improving visibility outdoors, they require an external light source to be visible, which is not always possible or sufficient. "Our decision to test the technology in Antarctica was clear because we are committed to improving the technology to the maximum extent possible and we believe that this testing can only be beneficial. Therefore we choose the EquiRay universal harness from our customer Lumisafe s.r.o as a great carrier of SUNFIBRE® technology for this scientific expedition," adds Tereza Budská.

Demonstration of Wereable Active Lighting Technology from SCILIF s.r.o.

Products are faced with extreme conditions in Antarctica, including low temperatures, relentless winds, the notorious white dark, and the consequent reduced visibility. The SUNFIBRE® technology illuminates up to 3 kilometres in all directions, enhancing visibility in foggy weather and overall facilitating the identification of individual team members. The operation time is more than 30 hours and thanks to the power bank it is easily rechargeable.

Other features of the technology include washability and high durability, and they also pass norms of heat and direct flame resistance. They are available in a wide range of colours and textile coating, including the integration of special sensors and the possibility of connecting to other systems. The technology can be used not only in clothing but in a diverse range of other outdoor equipment. "SUNFIBRE® actively helps those who need to be protected, even when saving another human life, e.g. during night rescue operations, it pushes the safety of rescue workers to a new level," says Tereza Budská. The technology is also part of bags and backpacks for rescuers, so it helps visibility not only in the field but also illuminates the interior of their bags. It can also be used on police uniforms or for leisure activities, like running and bike riding.

Together with SCILIF s.r.o., the Masaryk University Technology Transfer Office is preparing the products for testing to be handed over to scientists who will take them to the research station in January 2024 and test the technology for several months.

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