Indra has developed a new vehicle for effective detection and analysis of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and improvised explosives (NRBCe) threats.
Manufactured as part of the Emergency Response Solutions NRBQ in the Civil and Military Sector (SORECYM-NRBQ) programme, the vehicle is designed to enable specialised staff to travel to contaminated areas to detect and identify nuclear and radiological materials.
Using a commercial van as a platform, the newly developed vehicle is also capable of detecting remote contaminant clouds located at distances of up to 5km, followed by subsequent analysis using mass spectrophotometry techniques.
Offering a secure work space for two operators, including an operations chief and the driver, the vehicle also has accessibility to a measurement and gamma spectroscopy system for suspended particles sampling, as well as a dosimeter to alert operators in case the radiation levels pose a threat.
A portable LIBS spectroscopy system is also present in the vehicle for detection of explosives in traces of only a few nanograms using a highly energetic laser beam.
Data collected by all devices is initially centralised in the vehicle's information management system (LIMS) prior to transmission to the control centre using either Satcom or Tetra communication links.
The pressurised vehicle is also integrated with an application for real-time monitoring and geo-referencing of contaminants, and the resulting information is combined with meteorological unit data to estimate how fast and in what direction the agent is spreading.
Additional systems include self-contained breathing equipment and A-level protection gear to help operators safely accomplish outdoor tasks.
Funding support has been provided by the Spanish Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) under its Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica 2008-2011 programme.
Image: The chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats endanger lives of warfighters in the battlefield. Photo: courtesy of Cpl Jeff Neron.