Battlespace Tech

JUPITR integrates all threats into one early warning system

JUPITR integrated base threat detect

JUPITR puts chemical-biological and force protection sensors into a single platform.

A new program is working to improve security at U.S. military installations around the world by combining the monitoring technologies for a full range of threats—from kinetic to biological —into a single, integrated early warning system.

Biological sensors at installations currently are run at a separate location from force protection sensors, which consist of conventional and thermal imaging cameras, ground surveillance radar and seismic and acoustic sensors monitored by military police. Chemical-biological specialists monitor the biological sensors independently.

Under Project JUPITR, which stands for Joint U.S. Forces in Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, military police a bio specialists work together with one system so they can compare notes and respond more quickly to an incident, the Army said in a release

In June, the system was demonstrated at Osan Air Base, South Korea, among other reasons to test 10 biological agent detection technologies for their suitability for a field environment. Taking part in the test were chemical-biological specialists from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, software and hardware engineers from Joint Project Manager Guardian, and Army and Air Force military police and biological specialists.

The exercise included a simulated threat, in the form of a suspicious vehicle outside the base, the Army said. "The military police at their location and the chemical biological specialists at another location were all looking at the same common operating picture at the same time, and seeing the same data streaming in from both the force protection and chemical biological sensors in real time,” said Robert Bednarczyk, who leads the effort as deputy product manager for Joint Product Manager Force Protection Systems.

JUPITR grew out of a system that was already in use in Afghanistan, called the Joint All-Hazards Common Control Station [JACCS], Bednarczyk said. "It features a common operating picture, which displays all the force protection sensor data on one screen." Starting with JACCS, the team working to add chemical-biological detection.

Putting it all together wasn’t especially easy. The team had to find the right chemical-biological sensors to integrate into the JACCS system, set up a common programming language for the sensors, and then test and tweak the interface. A three-month integration assessment at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, followed, before the system could be set up and tested at Osan.

In all, the effort took 14 months, but the results proved effective, with the simulations showing how the integrated system could save time in assessing threats and responding to them, the Army said.

"The participants told us it was a vast improvement," Bednarczyk said. "The military police look at the screens all the time as part of their job; to be able to bring in chemical biological specialists so fast and so completely the moment they saw something they suspected could involve chemical or biological agent was a big step forward in protecting the base."

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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