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DEVCOM teams explore low cost lightweight sensors for warfighter use

☷DEVCOM teams explore low cost lightweight sensors for warfighter use

U.S. Army
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   Army Senior Research Scientist for Chemistry Dr . Patricia McDaniel works with research scientists Brian Hauck and Janet Jensen to explore chemical and biological detection technologies that can be integrated into microsensor capabilities . ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND , Md . — The Soldier in the field is often required to carry multiple pieces of gear to handle various situations and every pound matters . With this in mind , Army scientists and engineers are using their diverse skills to cultivate a microsensor development capability at the U . S . Army’s Combat...... Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center , or DEVCOM CBC . This proof - of - concept study seeks to provide warfighters with sensors that are light in weight , low in cost , small in size and easy to carry . “We’re always trying to unburden the warfighter . We want to develop sensors that can be deployed to provide personnel with greater situational awareness of their field environment , ” said Army Senior Research Scientist for Chemistry Dr . Patricia McDaniel . According to BioSciences Division Chief Dr . Nicole Rosenzweig , Center scientists and engineers want to figure out how they can potentially transport these deployable sensors into an area on ground vehicles or unmanned aircraft systems . “Whether it is a ground vehicle or an unmanned aerial vehicle release , the autonomous deployment element of this is a key component of the effort , ” Rosenzweig said . For example , the sensor can be deployed from high altitude into a plume by an aerial drone or mounted on a ground vehicle to provide situational awareness of a given area . During this operation , the microsensor can detect possible hazardous contamination and alert the warfighter so they can make decisions on how to proceed . Staying aware of warfighter needs makes the miniaturization of sensors a natural transition for the scientists at DEVCOM CBC . Currently , this effort is jointly funded between the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Center . The idea to focus on microsensors surfaced during discussions among Center researchers and leaders about new innovations . “We started looking at our research strengths , where technology is heading and determined where we can make the greatest contribution to the Army’s modernization process and advanced manufacturing efforts , ” said McDaniel . Scientists are working to miniaturize sensors so that they can communicate with Soldiers and equipment through a universal interface , which will allow users to select and customize capabilities for each unique mission . Researchers envision stealth microsensors for deployment , while being cost - effective enough to discard after use . This paves the way for a “place - and - forget” microsensor that can be used as a one - off after completing its task . The development of microsensors is a Center - wide collaborative campaign with the objective to integrate science , technology , modeling , engineering and novel manufacturing processes . According to McDaniel , the Center is pushing the boundaries of microsensors using additive manufacturing . “We’re trying to pull all of these research elements together to achieve the next generation of chemical or biological detection , ” she said . The Center is also collaborating with small businesses and universities to move the development of microsensors forward . Recently , Center researchers worked with the University of Alabama and Forensense Solutions , LLC , and have filed a patent application for their microsensor prototype called the Portable Impedance Based Chemical Sensor . The prototyping objective is to understand current and past efforts across DoD Science and Technology ( S&T ) programs that have explored sensing . This sensor is designed to detect toxic industrial chemicals , chemical warfare agents and emerging chemical threats . The Center is also working to leverage Soldier touchpoint opportunities to continue the development of these prototypes . The goal is to coordinate multiple microsensor demonstrations . This would allow Soldiers to provide input on how microsensors make their jobs easier in the field and provide feedback on future prototypes . The next steps in developing the microsensor capability at the Center involves finding additional partners who can help to propel this effort into the future by providing miniaturized chemical detection , novel engineering solutions and low - cost manufacturing methodologies . Center researchers are integrating technologies developed across the various government laboratories to maximize microsensor capabilities . The overall vision for the microsensor program is not only to bring new technologies to the Center but also to advance existing technologies . According to McDaniel , the goal is to pull all of these elements together along with partners’ efforts in order to establish the Center as the premier laboratory for innovation . “Microsensors is not a singular effort . It ' s a spiral effort . The whole idea is to set up the infrastructure so that as we see technologies emerging , we can integrate them into the chemical biological detection world , ” she said . “We have the ability to assess , understand and implement them into something truly innovative . ” ━━━━━━━━━━ The U . S . Army Combat Capabilities Development Command ( DEVCOM ) leads in the discovery , development and delivery of technology - based capabilities to enable Soldiers to win our nation’s wars and come home safely . DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U . S . Army Futures Command . The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology , engineering and field operations . The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground , Maryland .


29 April 2022 ( April 29 2022 )



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DEVCOM teams explore low cost lightweight sensors for warfighter use
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