By Anthony RicchiazziNovember 19, 2008
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - More than 100 battlefield sensor systems were readied and delivered nearly a month ahead of schedule in support of a surveillance system program.
Tobyhanna received a request from the Battlefield Anti-Intrusion System program manager to prepare and ship 110 AN/PRS-9 BAIS systems and spare parts to support the Base Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance Sensors-Combined program.
The systems were needed by Oct. 31. Tobyhanna shipped them on Oct. 6, 25 days ahead of schedule. "The PRS-9 is a force protection multiplier," says Kenneth Martin, electronics integrated system mechanic. "Each system is a set of three seismic acoustic unattended ground sensors that can classify between people and wheeled and tracked vehicles."
Martin works in the Air Traffic Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate.
He said the system works by using a processor with programmed algorithms of the seismic signatures of people and vehicles. "It samples the sounds and vibrations that people and vehicles make and matches them with what is stored in the processor. It then sends what it has identified to handheld monitors, which tells the Soldiers what is in the area."
To prevent BAIS systems in a local area from interfering with each other, an individual BAIS can be programmed to a specific frequency.
"We started fielding this system in 2006," said John Ross, chief of the Ground Control Approach/Sensors Branch. "We've had 24 fieldings so far. We provide BAIS programming, testing and fielding."
Chris Allen, an electronics mechanic helper, said Tobyhanna equips the systems with spare parts, such as antennas, microphones, cables and earphones.
"We give each system an operational test here, adding whatever parts are requested to make a kit," he said.
Ross said kits are stored at Tobyhanna until a request for fielding is made. "For example, the 110 kits that were just prepared will be fielded sometime in September," he explained. "When we get the call, technicians will go onsite to provide training and install the kits."
Martin noted that branch and Technical Training Division personnel provide classroom and customized hands-on training, including having the Soldiers install sensors themselves in the field. "A military police unit will have different requirements than a scout unit, so we worked with Tech Training to develop training tailored for that," he said. "We also provide field-level maintenance training."
"And because units have to deal with personnel and field changes, we make sure they receive train-the-trainer level information," Allen added.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest full-service Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) maintenance and logistics support facility in the Department of Defense. Employees repair, overhaul and fabricate electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network.
Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces. The depot is the Army Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Communications-Electronics, Avionics, and Missile Guidance and Control Systems and the Air Force Technology Repair Center for ground communications and electronics.
About 5,700 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control, computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.