DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah (April 16, 2015) — An innovative system to warn of a biological attack recently underwent an advanced technical demonstration at Dugway Proving Ground, or DPG, and is now in South Korea for an operations demonstration by Soldiers.
The Joint U.S. Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, or JUPITR, system employs a variety of detectors working together to enhance biosurveillance, and reduce false positives.
“It’s a system of systems approach toward biological detection,” said Russ Bartholomew of DPG’s Life Sciences Division, and test officer for the JUPITR advanced technical demonstration at DPG.
Detecting harmful microbes within a natural background of airborne materials is a daunting, complex task. Bartholomew said that JUPITR is an array of instruments that includes acoustic, seismic, motion and other sensors with chemical and biological detectors. In a suspected biological attack, data from each instrument is scrutinized determine whether an attack occurred, and what type.
The Department of Defense defines a system of systems approach as, “a set or arrangement of systems that results when independent and useful systems are integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities.”
Recently, at one of DPG’s massive outdoor test grids, JUPITR’s sensors were set in an array identical to the South Korea configuration. Benign microbes with characteristics similar to biological agents were released in varying scenarios, simulating biological attacks. Each scenario was electronically recorded, for playback at the South Korea operations demonstration.