Tech Armor and Fortification

Unknown [Mass Effect]

Mass Effect

Although body armor and kinetic barriers provide significant protection for relatively low cost, technically savvy soldiers sometimes go further.

"Tech Armor" is the common term for a complex series of field generators that disrupt incoming force using a stationary warp effect. The theory is that bullets that would normally shatter on impact instead break apart when they strike the field. The field then bleeds away the shrapnel's kinetic energy. The standard design for tech armor traps the warp field between two low-yield kinetic barriers to protect the user from the field itself. When the outer barrier fails, the warp effect is discharged, potentially harming anyone nearby. For this reason, many soldiers modify the armor with a haptic-style light effect to warn allies not to get too close. On missions where stealth is paramount, this effect is disabled. Cynical soldiers joke that the design is called "tech armor" because if it were simply called "warp armor," no one would use it.

The "fortification" approach uses high-energy batteries and superconductive devices within the armor to create a Foucault-current effect, essentially a magnetic field that can immobilize metals, even nonferrous ones. The field is triggered by sensors similar to those in a kinetic barrier. It is powerful enough to protect against most modern weapons, but there are drawbacks. The currents cause metallic objects to hold their position relative to one another, and although the field only lasts for a split second, it creates resistance that can slow or fatigue the wearer. Without specialized training, a soldier can quickly become exhausted or stumble at the wrong time.