Test System Upgrade Brings Safari Capability, Other Benefits
By Al VogelAugust 21, 2020
Dugway Proving Ground’s West Desert Test Center (WDTC) is adding critical software and hardware improvements to streamline the Test Grid Data Management System (DMS), and the Test Grid (TG) network.The test grid and its data management system are used to test equipment designed to warn the warfighter of chemical or biological agent. The more efficient improvements will reduce operational costs in future testing.The Open Architecture Data Management System (OADMS) project, a first-of-its-kind system for Army Test and Evaluation Command, upgrades the current Test Grid Safari Instrumentation (TGSI) software and hardware system. OADMS provides an improved, fully instrumented and networked outdoor test capability to conduct developmental or operational tests on chemical or biological defenses.Verification testing of the OADMS upgrade began mid-July and is expected to continue into August 2020. Current work focuses on integrating the improved Chemical Cloud Tracking System (iCCTS) with OADMS. Verification testing ensures that the upgrade functions as it is designed and required.Verification will be by GASMET® FTIR emissions detectors, and the West Desert LIDAR (a pulsed laser light detection and ranging system developed at DPG). OADMS will offer the capability to “safari” off DPG to other Major Range and Test Facility Bases (MRTFB) or other test sites, said Project Manager Nathan Lee.Upgrade to a much smaller server, instead of using the permanent test server on DPG, makes this possible. The former Test Grid used a proprietary field data collector under service contract from the manufacturer.OADMS replaces this with a data acquisition box (sidecar) built with inexpensive, off-the-shelf components. A service contract is no longer required; sustainment costs are significantly reduced. In addition, the OADMS simplifies the interface of new sensors, to include systems under test (SUT), by having a modular software design, and utilizing software drivers to interface to any device that is connected to OADMS.Compared to the current Test Grid, maintenance and sustainment costs are reduced. The OADMS will simplify the integration of new referee sensors (providing an accurate comparison against systems under test), and SUT that feed data into servers.Test setup will be easier through the use of plug and play/auto discovery of referee sensors as they are placed in the field.