ECBC joined with technology developers from private industry and other Army and joint organizations to test a new integrated system of chemical and biological agent sensors Aug. 15 through 26 at Dugway Proving Ground’s West Desert Test Center in Utah. The test took place at a U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command technology demonstration called the SK Challenge. ECBC’s team participated after nearly a year of preparation. Scientists and engineers from across ECBC worked together to develop a unmanned aerial vehicle they call Deep Purple and modified an unmanned ground vehicle known as the Mobile Detection Assessment and Response System, or MDARS, for the event. These systems operated as platforms for chemical and biological sensors which were tested against a variety of simulant agents to see if the sensors could correctly identify them. ECBC scientists and engineers modified existing sensor packages to fit inside a thermos-shaped container called the Array Configurable of Remote Network Sensors (ACORNS) that is affixed to the bottom of Deep Purple or is mounted on the roof of MDARS. Those sensor packages include the Tactical Biological Generation II Detector, called TACBIO, which rapidly detects the presence of an airborne biological threat, and the Joint Chemical Agent Detector, which is an automatic chemical warfare agent detector.
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