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CBRNE Defense
Photo: two soldiers in hazmat gear

Battelle Showcases Decon Prototype at CBOA Industry Event

Posted by Battelle Insider on Aug 16, 2021

Building and maintaining operational readiness for combat operations against Chemical/Biological (CB) threats is critical. To gain new insight into emerging CB technologies and identify potential areas of improvement for these new capabilities, the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) funds its signature Chemical and Biological Operational Analysis (CBOA) event. At its most recent event in Virginia, Battelle showcased the Resource Effective Bioidentification System (REB+) and its prototype Multi-Threat Decontamination System (MTDS).

CBOA provides an opportunity for researchers to get feedback from military leaders during the development stage for these new CB defense technologies. This Scientist-to-Warfighter line of communication can bridge capability and usability gaps occurring during the development cycle. At the event, REBS+ and the MTDS were included among the technology prototypes placed in the hands of warfighters to use while simulating adaptive, realistic missions.

Before any CB threat can be effectively eliminated, that threat must be detected and identified. Battelle has been working with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) through their SIGMA+ program to develop a scalable solution that can detect these threats. Battelle’s research through this program resulted in an optimized version of the REBS technology called REBS+.

The new and improved REBS+ will reduce response time and increase sensitivity so lower levels of target agents can be detected.  To achieve these goals, aerosol collection and optical improvements will need to be made. This makes field events like CBOA crucial to understanding what improvements need to be implemented to create the most optimized solution.

The MTDS is the next evolution for the decontamination of mission critical, sensitive equipment, unmanned systems, sensors, and electronics without degradation. In battle, a warfighter could be exposed to a variety of threats, including chemical warfare agents (CWA), biological warfare agents (BWA), and toxic industrial chemicals (TIC). No other single technology has the capability to thoroughly decontaminate each of these threats: But the MTDS merges leading chemical and biological decontamination technologies into a single scalable system that’s designed to be mission-ready and reliability.

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Building on lessons learned from the Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) and the Battelle SOCOM Sensitive Equipment Decontamination System (SEDS), the MTDS combines multiple decontamination methods and creates a system with the ability to neutralize the broadest range of CB threats on the widest range of equipment. The MTDS is housed fully within a single container, making transportation simple and setup/teardown minimal. The chamber and decontaminate generation is fully integrated into the system, creating a building-block approach to scaling. All these features provide a forward-deployable, platoon level decontamination system that can be scaled to support a company level.

Battelle would like to thank DTRA for including the MTDS and REBS+ in CBOA 21. This event provided a unique learning experience for the Battelle team that proved to be beneficial in understanding military challenges and their potential solutions.

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