The TGSI system, under development and construction since early 2006, cost tens of millions of dollars to build. It is a first-of-a-kind system that provides the U.S. Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC) with a comprehensive, fully instrumented, and networked field test capability to accurately disseminate, map, track, and referee a simulant chemical or biological cloud to assess the effectiveness of Chemical and Biological Defense Systems tested on the open range at Dugway Proving Ground for the warfighter.
The system provides the West Desert Test Center (WDTC) test operators automated and centralized data collection, near real-time data display, data retrieval for post-test analyses, data time stamping and storage. Detector testing is streamlined by designed-in mobility and the real-time display and archive of detector-related test data.
Compared to the previous process, less data is wasted, and tests take less time because raw data and metadata are integrated during the test, instead of personnel integrating it post-test.
The number of personnel required for a typical chemical detector test should be reduced significantly, and the upgrade may reduce test costs for customers, while its portability offers interesting options for challenging detectors in varied terrain, such as narrow canyons, the peak of small hills, on steep slopes, salt flats, etc.
"We offer various threat test scenarios," Test Officer Nathan Lee said. "Based on the threat scenario, we employ various types of point detection, standoff detection and dissemination systems."
Threats are created by mobile, truck-borne disseminators that release simulant agent in varied forms, chemical vapor or aerosol, or biological dry and wet aerosol. A point detector must be enveloped by the chemical or biological simulant cloud in order for detection to occur, but the standoff sensors can "see" the cloud and pictorially display it for the test participants to track its position and movement.
This standoff sensor information coupled with the information provided by numerous anemometers, collocated with the point sensors, provides the test participants with much improved test situational awareness.
In keeping with decades-old international agreements, viable agents are forbidden from outdoor release. "Safari" in the title means portability, based on 30 trailers with power generators, 27 trailers with a 10-meter high tower for attaching instruments, a 53-foot long command post, referee detectors and disseminators, which are all portable. The system includes powerful data servers at a central data center.
Streamlining the detector testing process at Dugway will speed up the delivery of thoroughly tested chemical or biological threat detectors into the hands of warfighters, first responders and investigators. In a constantly evolving CBRN threat, having the latest and finest detector readily available is no small comfort.