Teledyne FLIR develops portable chemical detector
Teledyne FLIR concept
The Pentagon is entering into a contract with industry to develop a “mass-produced” device for US troops that will better protect them from chemical and biological threats on the battlefield.
In June, Teledyne announced FLIR that the Department of Defense has awarded the company a $ 4 million contract to develop a small, lightweight chemical sensor that will be worn by soldiers and Marines.
As part of the Compact Vapor Chemical Agent Detection or CVCAD program, the company will manufacture a unique dual-sensor device that detects chemical warfare agents, toxic chemicals, flammable gases, and enriched or depleted oxygen levels that Teledyne says may indicate an explosive atmosphere FLIR.
The device can “tell a given soldier that he is in a terrible environment, be it something that can kill him quickly, such as a chemical warfare agent, or an environment that is explosive … that could be dangerous,” said David Cullin , Vice President of Global Business Development for Teledyne FLIR’s detection division.
Technology tells troops whether it is safe to breathe or fire a weapon.
In addition to being used as a soldier-carried device, it’s also incorporated into unmanned platforms like drones and ground robots, Cullin said.
Since this is a soldier-worn system, size, weight, and power must be taken into account in order not to strain the troops’ carrying, noted Cullin in an interview. The company aims for the device to be about ten centimeters long and one centimeter wide.
The five-year program is funded and jointly administered by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science and Technology Office and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological and Radiological / Nuclear Defense. CVCAD is the fourth part of Pentagon’s next generation chemical detector program, which is a series of efforts aimed at bringing a family of improved chemical detectors to the armed forces, the company said. This is the third contract award Teledyne FLIR has received in a row.
The company is working with a company called NevadaNano to develop the sensor for its offering, Cullin said.
“We’re taking some of their microelectromechanical systems … and we’re working on the chemistry and physics of those chips so that they interact specifically with the drugs that we want to study in very specific ways,” he said. “As soon as we have optimized these chips so that they react to the materials we want to detect, we will work with algorithms to ensure that the sensor gives the correct responses.”
Teledyne FLIR plans to use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies with the device to distill information, he said.
Subjects: Chemical biosafety, CBRN