Army asks ARA to develop remote explosive-detection technology for TALON unmanned ground vehicle

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FORT BELVOIR, Va., 22 April 2011. U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts are looking to engineers at Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA) in Albuquerque, N.M., to develop and test an explosive-detection sensor, sampling tools, and sensor digital signal processing (DSP) capability for a semi-autonomous explosives-detection system deployable on the TALON man-portable unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) from QinetiQ North America Inc. in McLean, Va.

Officials of the Army Communications-Electronics Command Contracting Center at Fort Belvoir, Va., announced their intention Tuesday to negotiate a 14-month contract with ARA to develop the TALON-based explosives-detection system as part of the Army's Autonomous Mine Detecting System (AMDS) program. The amount of the contract has not yet been determined.

The Army AMDS program is a suite of UGV payloads for current and future man-portable UGVs. The UGV payloads will consist of a mine-detection and marking payload module that remotely detects and marks land mines and scatterable munitions; an explosive hazards-detection and -marking payload that remotely detects and marks buried and camouflaged explosives; and a neutralization payload module that remotely neutralizes buried and camouflaged explosives.

The idea of AMDS is to provide the ability to detect and neutralize explosives from a distance without placing human explosive-ordinance-disposal experts in danger.


In the current contract, ARA researchers will focus on maturing explosives-detection sensor, tools, and sensor DSP technology such that they can shrink the hardware's size, weight, and power-consumption sufficiently to fit and function on the TALON UGV.


Army officials point out that this intent to award a contract to ARA is not a request for proposals, yet invite all potential suppliers that can provide supporting data to demonstrate their ability to perform the effort to submit price quotes within 45 days.


Send quotes and capability descriptions to the Army contract specialist Deirdre Hughes by e-mail at, or by post to Deirdre Hughes, CECOM Contracting Center, Washington (CECOM-CC), ATTN: CCCE-CW, 10205 Burbeck Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5863.


More information is online at

For more information contact the Army Contracting Center online at, Applied Research Associates at, or QinetiQ North America at


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