DTRA eyes advanced ground robots for covert inspection of hostile chemical and nuclear sites

FORT BELVOIR, Va., 4 March 2012. Officials of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at Fort Belvoir, Va., are reaching out to industry for an upcoming program tentatively called Sensitive Site Exploitation that seeks to develop advanced robotic unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to examine suspected chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear sites covertly.

The DTRA Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) issued a request for information Friday (RFI HDTRARoboticsAPBIRFI) for the Robotics RFI and Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry - Request for Information, which contains the first sketchy details of a plan to use unmanned vehicles to inspect sites covertly that may or house research for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

DTRA officials caution that this is not a formal request for proposals, and the agency ultimately may not pursue this project. If they do, however, DTRA officials want to develop advanced ground robots that not only can move across difficult terrain like water, ice, snow, sand, and rocks, but also conduct sensitive chemical and radiological experiments once on scene.

These will be no ordinary ground robots. They must have mobility and dexterity superior to currently fielded UGVs like the iRobot PackBot, QinetiQ TALON, and the Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Unmanned Ground Reconnaissance (CUGR) robotic controller.

These robots must be able to operate by teleoperation or fully autonomously, with advanced intuitive interfaces, and have the ability to perform chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear experiments on site and in real time, and datalink the results back to remote operators or command authorities.

DTRA's list of goals for these advanced UGVs includes the ability to:

-- use an intuitive user-machine interfaces that enable a person to operate the system without training within an hour of picking up the control equipment;

-- carry a manipulator able to unscrew and screw on the cap of a 15-milliliter falcon tube, extract a sample, and conduct a lateral flow assay with the sample from the tube, as well as operate a Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) and perform a JCAD analysis as well as a human could;

-- perform a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay on the current Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS) system starting with an unprocessed environmental sample from a matrix soil, water, or air collector device;

-- collect and analyze a sample of suspected radiologically active soil, water, or air using currently fielded radiological or nuclear detection systems;

-- perform a four-hour mission without external support or resupply;

-- navigate with and do 3D mapping of tunnel networks and other tight spaces without the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS);

-- carry payloads at least as heavy as 110 pounds;

-- cruise quietly at 30 to 40 miles per hour with low probability of detection;

-- move through at least 300 feet of 8-inch-deep mud, 3-feet-deep snow, icy surfaces, and terrain strewn with 3-foot-diameter boulders;

-- operate by waypoint navigation, teleoperation, or autonomous navigation with obstacle avoidance, as well as remote operation to ranges as far as 30 miles with existing communications equipment, or at unlimited ranges via satellite communications links, Internet links, or HF radio in GPS-denied environments;

-- send collected data continuously, or by burst transmission after loss of communications; and

-- function in combination (swarm) with similar robotic vehicles, or work with other kinds of UGVs.

Companies interested should send detailed descriptions of their technologies, including size, weight, and power specifications, tasks their robots can perform, control and power-management plans, and estimated time of research necessary to achieve DTRA's goals.

E-mail responses no longer than five pages to Field_Automation@dtra.mil no later than 4 April 2012. An advanced planning briefing to industry will be 28 March 2012, with details coming later.

For questions or concerns contact DTRA's Britt Kelley by e-mail at britt.kelley@dtra.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DTRA/DTRA01/HDTRARoboticsAPBIRFI/listing.html.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

TFX-19 Trifold Rackmount LCD

The TFX1-19 is a rugged military grade high performance 2U rackmount LCD panel display offering t...

P317xx Portable Computer System w/ Three 17" LCDs

The P317xx portable " lunchbox" system is unique in offering three 17" 1280x1024 resolution LCD d...

CCXR-17 Slideways Side Access Rackmount LCD Keyboard

The CCXR-17 is a unique Side Access space-efficient military-grade high-performance 1U rackmount ...

M4U20xx 4U Rackmount Military-Grade Computer

A 4U rugged military-grade computer offering the latest long-availability high-performance mother...

Large Fiber Collimators

Diffraction Limited Large Fiber Collimators are designed for long distance beam propagation with ...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

American Infrared Solutions

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Trenton Systems Inc

Designs and manufactures rugged rackmount computers and MIL-STD-810 systems using both standard COTS as well as custo...

Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems

Manufactures near-IR (NIR) and shortwave IR (SWIR) cameras (available fully packaged or as OEM imaging modules), line...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE