CBRN sensors on Stryker vehicle (Shawn Nesaw/Arny)

2019 Government Innovation Awards

Taking the fast track to better CBRN detection

It took only 100 days for the Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Sensor Suite Upgrade (NBCRV SSU) team to design and build fully integrated prototypes for the Defense Department’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) mounted reconnaissance capability for manned and unmanned Stryker systems.

Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Sensor Suite Upgrade

Department of Defense

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Prototyping started in 2018, and the first integrated prototype was delivered three years ahead of schedule. This year, tests at Dugway Proving Ground and the Joint Warfighting Assessment validated the system’s ability to support faster, safer and more effective CBRN reconnaissance.

With the upgraded system, the sensor-equipped vehicles enable warfighters to detect chemical weapons at distances up to three times greater than the original Strykers can manage, while also adding standoff sensing, which enables the detection of biological and radiological threats without contact.

By integrating the CBRN sensors with communications equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles and onboard computing power, the NBCRV SSU team reduced the number of preventive maintenance checks and trimmed system servicing times from five hours to just 45 minutes. The modular system is also less expensive than its predecessor and can be moved to another vehicle with relative ease. In addition, by teaming a manned vehicle with an unmanned one, a single reconnaissance team can operate two sensing platforms concurrently and reduce the manpower required for a mission.

Ultimately, the upgrade boosts CBRN intelligence in the field and allows commanders to make better-informed, risk-based decisions when warfighters are in harm’s way.

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