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Mobile detection assessment and response systems (MDARS): a force protection physical security operational success
Author(s): Brian Shoop; Michael Johnston; Richard Goehring; Jon Moneyhun; Brian Skibba
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Paper Abstract

MDARS is a Semi-autonomous unmanned ground vehicle with intrusion detection & assessment, product & barrier assessment payloads. Its functions include surveillance, security, early warning, incident first response and product and barrier status primarily focused on a depot/munitions security mission at structured/semi-structured facilities. MDARS is in Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) under the Product Manager for Force Protection Systems (PM-FPS). MDARS capabilities include semi-autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, motion detection, day and night imagers, radio frequency tag inventory/barrier assessment and audio challenge and response. Four SDD MDARS Patrol Vehicles have been undergoing operational evaluation at Hawthorne Army Depot, NV (HWAD) since October 2004. Hawthorne personnel were trained to administer, operate and maintain the system in accordance with the US Army Military Police School (USAMPS) Concept of Employment and the PM-FPS MDARS Integrated Logistic Support Plan. The system was subjected to intensive periods of evaluation under the guidance and control of the Army Test and Evaluation Center (ATEC) and PM-FPS. Significantly, in terms of User acceptance, the system has been under the "operational control" of the installation performing security and force protection missions in support of daily operations. This evaluation is intended to assess MDARS operational effectiveness in an operational environment. Initial observations show that MDARS provides enhanced force protection, can potentially reduce manpower requirements by conducting routine tasks within its design capabilities and reduces Soldier exposure in the initial response to emerging incidents and situations. Success of the MDARS program has been instrumental in the design and development of two additional robotic force protection programs. The first was the USAF Force Protection Battle Lab sponsored Remote Detection Challenge & Response (REDCAR) concept demonstration executed by the Air Force Robotics Lab (AFRL). The REDCAR used an MDARS PUV as the central robotic technology and expanded the concept to incorporate a smaller high speed platform (SCOUT) equipped with lethal, non-lethal and challenge components as an engagement platform and, in a marsupial configuration on the MDARS, a small UGV that can be deployed to investigate close quarters areas. The Family of Integrated Rapid Response Equipment (FIRRE) program further expands these concepts by incorporating and adapting other mobile/tactical force protection equipment with a more robust Unmanned Ground Vehicle into an "Expeditionary" configuration to provide the current force with a rapidly deployable force protection system that can operate in austere less structured and protected environments. A USAMPS/ MANCEN sponsored "FIRRE System Demonstration" in Iraq is scheduled to begin in FY '07.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6230, Unmanned Systems Technology VIII, 62301Y (9 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665939
Show Author Affiliations
Brian Shoop, U.S. Army (United States)
Michael Johnston, U.S. Army (United States)
Richard Goehring, U.S. Army (United States)
Jon Moneyhun, U.S. Army (United States)
Brian Skibba, Air Force Robotics Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6230:
Unmanned Systems Technology VIII
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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