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Proceedings Paper

Implementation of algorithms to discriminate between chemical/biological airbursts and high explosive airbursts
Author(s): Myron E. Hohil; Sachi Desai; Amir Morcos
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Paper Abstract

The Army is currently developing acoustic sensor systems that will provide extended range surveillance, detection, and identification for force protection and tactical security. A network of such sensors remotely deployed in conjunction with a central processing node (or gateway) will provide early warning and assessment of enemy threats, near real-time situational awareness to commanders, and may reduce potential hazards to the soldier. In contrast, the current detection of chemical/biological (CB) agents expelled into a battlefield environment is limited to the response of chemical sensors that must be located within close proximity to the CB agent. Since chemical sensors detect hazardous agents through contact, the sensor range to an airburst is the key-limiting factor in identifying a potential CB weapon attack. The associated sensor reporting latencies must be minimized to give sufficient preparation time to field commanders, who must assess if an attack is about to occur, has occurred, or if occurred, the type of agent that soldiers might be exposed to. The long-range propagation of acoustic blast waves from heavy artillery blasts, which are typical in a battlefield environment, introduces a feature for using acoustics and other sensor suite technologies for the early detection and identification of CB threats. Employing disparate sensor technologies implies that warning of a potential CB attack can be provided to the solider more rapidly and from a safer distance when compared to current conventional methods. Distinct characteristics arise within the different airburst signatures because High Explosive (HE) warheads emphasize concussive and shrapnel effects, while chemical/biological warheads are designed to disperse their contents over immense areas, therefore utilizing a slower burning, less intensive explosion to mix and distribute their contents. Highly reliable discrimination (100%) has been demonstrated at the Portable Area Warning Surveillance System (PAWSS) Limited Objective Experiment (LOE) conducted by Joint Project Manager for Nuclear Biological Contamination Avoidance (JPM NBC CA) and a matrixed team from Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC) at ranges exceeding 3km. The details of the field-test experiment and real-time implementation/integration of the stand-alone acoustic sensor system are discussed herein.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6394, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks III, 63940O (5 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.693237
Show Author Affiliations
Myron E. Hohil, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)
Sachi Desai, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)
Amir Morcos, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6394:
Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks III
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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