Standoff Detection Technology Evaluation Facility

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The Standoff Detection Technology Evaluation facility is the only one of its kind in the country and allows researchers to release a known amount of material while maintaining a calibrated material scatter so that a standoff detector's ability to "see" can be accurately measured from up to several kilometers away. This increased precision reduces uncertainty about the potential field performance of standoff detectors.

The Standoff Detection Technology Evaluation Facility was designed for use in the Artemis Chemical Standoff Detection Program to allow aerosol backscatter and vapor measurements with a frequency-agile carbon dioxide (CO2) Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) standoff detector. The chamber utilizes curtains of air produced by an interior vortex and balanced by an exterior counter flow of air to contain the material cloud. This also prevents the backscatter off of conventional hard windows from corrupting the desired measurements on the cloud inside the chamber. The prevention of backscatter is critical because the CO2 LIDAR has a long (1 microsecond) pulse and the backscatter off the window cannot be temporarily separated from the backscatter off of an aerosol in the chamber.

With known and modest modifications, this ECBC asset can be used with all passive and active, chemical and biological standoff technologies and systems at any stage of development. The chamber was designed for testing with a variety of CB simulants, interferents and selected toxic industrial chemicals in both vapor and aerosol form. ECBC is exploring the regulatory acceptability of extending the operations to include "kill" pathogens, which would produce a tremendous benefit for the CBDP if permitted. Using state-of-the- art ground truth instrumentation, the Standoff Detection Technology Evaluation Facility has been shown to successfully contain a homogenous aerosol cloud.

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