Dugway to challenge world's chem/bio detectors

By Al VogelMay 11, 2017

Disseminating simulated agent in 550-foot-long chamber
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Simulated biological agent is disseminated within the 550-foot-long Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel toward a variety of detectors on the other end at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah in 2015. The tunnel-like structure allows the control of wind speed and simu... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Agent detectors await release of simulant
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Interior detectors await the release of a simulated biological agent inside the Active Standoff Chamber at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah in 2015. The long chamber employs air downdrafts to contain the simulant, and allow lasers from exterior, distant d... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Standoff detector finds agent from distance using laser
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A standoff biological detector looks down the length of the open-ended Active Standoff Chamber (left) or Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah in 2015. Standoff detectors employ a laser to identify the simulated biological agent,... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Agent detector scans simulant retained by air curtain
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Detector searches for simulated biological agent
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Scientists operate a standoff biological agent detector (not shown) to identify a simulated biological agent drifting within a chamber in a distant building at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah in 2016. Chemical and biological simulants are released in cha... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

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