The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), along with private technology developers, recently tested a new integrated system of chemical and biological agent sensors at Dugway Proving Ground’s West Desert Test Center in Utah.
ECBC’s team worked to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle, called Deep Purple, after nearly a full-year of preparation. The team also modified an unmanned ground vehicle, called the Mobile Detection Assessment and Response System (MDARS), for the event.
The systems were developed to identify various chemical and biological agents in real-time. ECBC engineers modified existing sensor packages to fit inside a thermos-shaped container called the Array Configurable of Remote Network Sensors (ACORNS). The systems are mounted to the bottom of the Deep Purple System and to the top of MDARS. Included in the sensor packages is the Tactical Biological Generation II Detector (TACBIO), which was developed to rapidly detect the presence of an airborne biological threat. The Joint Chemical Agent Detector, an automatic chemical warfare agent detector, is also included in the sensor package.
“This is a system of systems, every part has to be able to communicate with every other so it works as an integrated system,” Steven Lagan, member of the ECBC Modeling, Simulation and Analysis Branch, said. “We get data on the location and movement of the simulant cloud from stationary sensors, which we can then send to our sensor-mounted vehicles. The sensors then communicate to us the identity of the agent, which we share with all the other participants, and if this were real, the chain of command, through a common operating language.”