By Al VogelMay 11, 2017
DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah -- For the fourth year, Dugway Proving Ground will invite developers, manufacturers and users of chemical and biological agent detectors to learn how well their systems perform in a series of authentic trials against simulated agent.
The Sophos/Kydoimos (ancient Greek for "Wisdom over the din of battle.") Challenge IV is a two-week international event Aug. 7-18. Three facilities will be used: Active Standoff Chamber, Ambient Breeze Tunnel and Target S outdoor grid. Each trial pushes the limits of chemical or biological detectors using simulants that mimic an attack or incident. Trials are conducted in late evening and night, into early morning hours.
Participants retain their data and do not share it. Dugway does not record participant data, but it does record its own referee data for comparison. Participants share test facilities, simulant releases and Dugway support, allowing them to challenge their system at greatly reduced cost compared to full testing of one system.
"S/K Challenge III's, August 2016 total cost was more than $800,000, therefore cost sharing allowed for significant savings between participants," said John Gomes, S/K Challenge IV test officer at Dugway's Special Programs Division.
Since S/K Challenge's inception in 2014, international participants or observers have come from France, Canada, Norway, United Kingdom, Poland, Finland, Israel, Spain, New Zealand and elsewhere. U.S. participants included military, government agencies and private industry.
Detectors vary from pocket-sized to trailer-mounted and are of two types: point detectors warn when agent directly encounters the detector, and standoff detectors use laser technology to "see" and identify an approaching agent.
Consistently, past S/K Challenge participants have raved about Dugway's facilities, decades of experience in chemical and biological defense testing, world renowned expertise and the helpfulness of its personnel.
Participants in S/K Challenge IV are allowed use of one technology and up to seven personnel, logistical support for outdoor and field testing, access to a V.I.P. day, an opportunity to meet with industry, international and government organizations from the worldwide chemical and biological defense community, and a final data package that includes meteorological and Dugway referee system data.
For more information on S/K Challenge IV, visit http://www.dugway.army.mil/GrungeLanding.aspx