Teledyne FLIR has won a contract to develop the first mass-wearable chemical detector for U.S. troops under the Pentagon’s Compact Vapor Chemical Agent Detector (CVCAD) program. The company has received $4.0 million in initial funding.
Troops currently rely on mostly larger devices and alarms that alert entire units of a local chemical hazard. The new, lightweight CVCAD sensor will provide the benefit of individual protection for every warfighter, particularly all U.S. Soldiers and Marines conducting ground operations.
Teledyne FLIR 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 they can fire a weapon without concern for explosion, especially in confined spaces. The sensor also can be integrated on an unmanned aerial system 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,” said Roger Wells, VP and general manager 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.”
CVCAD is a program of record funded and jointly managed by the U.S. 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 a Joint Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Program designed to rapidly mature prototype devices under DTRA guidance and then transition them to JPEO-CBRND for advanced development and procurement.
The five-year contract consists of a 12-month first phase, 10-month second phase, plus two follow-on options. Work will be performed at company locations in Pittsburgh and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.