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RFI Seeks Autonomous Decontamination System (ADS)

Photo credit: Joel Quebec

The Joint Project Manager for Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Protection (JPM CBRN Protection) is conducting market research to identify sources to provide Autonomous Decontamination System (ADS) systems or components that will be suitable for use in thorough decontamination operations.

ADS is an autonomous, semi-autonomous, or automated supported capability that relies on precision detection capabilities, modernized decontaminants, and robotics to allow a CBRN decon squad to provide platoon level thorough decontamination on vehicles and critical mission equipment.

Contamination mitigation is extremely resource intensive in terms of time, logistics, and personnel because of decontamination. The ADS will reduce manpower and optimize resources required for decontamination operations while mitigating the risk of exposure of warfighters to chemical and biological warfare agents by accomplishing contamination mitigation tasks through robotic means.

The ADS will consist of a single platform with variable subsystems that support pre-wash (if required), contamination mapping, autonomous decontamination, and post-wash of equipment that has been contaminated with chemical or biological warfare agents.  

The ADS will be required to maneuver around vehicles (e.g. Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV), FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles)) and support equipment while avoiding obstacles. Additionally, the ADS may be required to transport itself to the decontamination site. Once the ADS is in place, the first process the ADS will be required to execute is a pre-wash of the contaminated vehicle or equipment with water. The second process is contamination mapping. Precision detection, contamination mapping, and/or surface indication technologies are a critical technology element of the ADS. This technology will identify, digitize, and track the contamination footprint on vehicles and equipment. This will allow for the third ADS process: to apply decontaminants precisely to the areas that are contaminated, saving valuable assets and time compared to decontamination of the whole vehicle or equipment. The fourth process is a post-wash with water.

Technologies sought under the RFI include: 

  • Precision Detection Capabilities (TRL 8 or higher) for chemical and biological warfare agents 
  • Contamination Mapping Technologies for chemical and biological warfare agents as well as systems to digitize and track the data 
  • Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Platforms, with and without autonomy kits, able to carry contamination mapping and decontamination payloads 
  • Precision Decontaminant Application (e.g. robotic arms, sprayers, etc.) 
  • Modernized Decontaminants (Chemical & Biological Warfare agents) 
  • ADS solutions compatible with fielded contamination mitigation technologies (e.g. Joint General Purpose Decontaminant for Hardened Military Equipment (M333), Contamination Indicator Decontamination Assurance System) 

The Request for Information (RFI) is being used to determine the availability and adequacy of potential sources for planning purposes only. Responses are due by 7 July 2023.

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