Body Armor

Unknown [Mass Effect]

Mass Effect

Modern combat hard-suits have a "triple canopy" of protection: shields, armor, and self-repair. The outermost layer is created through kinetic barrier emitters, which detect objects incoming at a high rate of speed and generate deflecting "shields" provided they have enough energy in their power cells.

If a bullet or other incoming object gets past the barrier, it contends with the more traditional body armor. A sealed suit of non-porous ballistic cloth provides kinetic and environmental protection, reinforced by lightweight composite ceramic plates in areas that either don't need to flex or require additional coverage, such as the chest and head. When the armor is hit by directed energy weapons, the plates boil away or ablate rather than burning the wearer.

The last level of protection is provided by the suit's microframe computers, whose input detectors are woven throughout the fabric. These manage the self-healing system, which finds rents in the fabric and, assuming any such tear would wound the flesh underneath, seals the area off with sterile, non-conductive medi-gel. This stanches minor wounds and plugs holes in the suit that could prove fatal in vacuum or toxic environments. Soldiers are not always fond of the "squish skin" that oozes gel on them at a moment's notice, but fatalities have dropped sharply since the system was implemented.