Teledyne FLIR announced on 14 June it has been awarded a DoD contract to develop a chemical detector for US forces under the Compact Vapor Chemical Agent Detector (CVCAD) programme.
The innovative dual-sensor device will detect chemicals, toxic and explosive threats to protect troops on the battlefield, and will be the first mass-worn individual chemical sensor for US forces. Troops currently lack the protection of an individually-worn sensor, relying on larger devices to detect threats and alert the chain of command. The new, lightweight CVCAD sensor will provide the benefit of individual protection for every soldier and marine conducting ground operations.
The company will produce a unique dual-sensor device that detects chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, as well as flammable gases and enriched or depleted oxygen levels that may indicate an explosive atmosphere. The detector will warn troops of immediate danger, determine whether the air is safe to breath and if troops can fire a weapon without concern for explosion, especially in confined spaces. The sensor can also be integrated on a UAS for remote reconnaissance.
“This is an important effort for our nation’s chem-bio defense program, as toxic weapons represent a serious, growing threat to our military personnel,” commented Roger Wells, VP/GM of Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions at Teledyne FLIR. “Putting a wearable CVCAD sensor on all warfighters will offer an unprecedented level of chemical threat awareness, enabling them to perform their primary mission with far greater safety […] The award underscores our expertise in intelligent sensing, unmanned systems, and other mission-critical technologies Teledyne FLIR delivers to safeguard lives.”
CVCAD is a programme of record funded and jointly managed by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA’s) Joint Science and Technology Office, and by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological and Radiological/Nuclear Defense (JPEO CBRND). It is the fourth installment in the Next-Generation Chemical Detector series of programmes, aimed at fielding a family of improved chemical detectors to joint forces, as well as the third award Teledyne FLIR has received in the series. CVCAD is designed to rapidly mature prototype devices under DTRA guidance, then transition them to JPEO-CBRND for advanced development and procurement.
The five-year contract, under which Teledyne FLIR has received an initial $4 million (€3.3 million) in funding, consists of a 12-month first phase, a 10-month second phase, plus two follow-on options.