By Drew Hamilton, Missile Ranger Staff WriterJune 3, 2010
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., (May 27, 2010) - Test officials on White Sands Missile Range have completed a series of tests on systems that could see use on an Army fighting vehicle.
The M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, an armored four-wheeled tactical vehicle used by military police and convoy protection units, underwent electronic and electromagnetic vulnerability and compatibility tests as part of the process of approving new systems to be mounted on the vehicle for full-scale production and use.
The testing, conducted by the Survivability and Vulnerability Assessment Directorate, saw the test vehicle, outfitted with several new systems, exposed to radio waves, bombarded by electromagnetic pulse simulators, and even hit with an electrical shock that simulates a nearby lightning strike. Additionally, temperature tests were conducted to evaluate the possibility of relocating some system components to different places on the vehicle in an attempt to free up room inside the vehicle.
The results gathered from the tests will be used to determine if the installed systems work properly under possible battlefield and environmental conditions, and help Army officials make a decision about the future of the new systems. Tests of this nature are conducted regularly on White Sands as the Army continues to make improvements to existing systems and integrate new systems with existing vehicles and equipment.
"We often see new equipment coming in (mounted on existing) vehicles or coming in for a retest," said Micaela Nevarez, a test officer with the Survivability and Vulnerability Assessment Directorate.
Testing systems for electronic compatibility and vulnerability is a critical part of the testing process with the increased use of advanced communications and electronic warfare-based systems.
"If you've got electromagnetic radiation floating around, it can make an electronically triggered weapon system fire, or make a powered turret spin around. If it can activate, or deactivate a weapon, it's critical (that we know because) it's about safety and functionally," said Eric Drouant, a field service representative from Textron Marine and Land Systems, the company that makes the ASV.
The systems mounted on the ASV for testing included the Driver Vision Enhancement system, a camera system mounted on the front of the vehicle that's designed to provide the driver with night vision capabilities so the vehicle can operate at night without the use of lights or stand alone night vision devices.
Also on board the ASV were upgraded versions of the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below system, a navigation and force tracking system; as well as an upgraded version of the Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare system, a counter-IED system better known as the CREW Duke.