277580 Practical Issues Encountered When Attempting to Field New Technology to Soldiers

Monday, October 29, 2012: 12:30 PM
Pennsylvania West (Westin )
Keith LeJeune, FLIR Systems, Export, PA

As technologists and inventors, much of our work focuses on gaining a clearer understanding of the fundamentals of science and establishing the potential application of new technologies, processes, and/or methods.  Within the context of defense against weapons of mass destruction, much of the applications research searches for answers to questions like “What is the capacity of a decontaminant?” or “What is the limit of detection for a particular sensor technology?”.  These are very important questions / issues to address as they identify the potential of a particular technology.

I have spent the last ten years working to transition bio-based technologies for chemical and biological defense to the user community.  Most of the initial work focused on answering similar basic technology application questions.  More recently, the focus has been on different questions.  “How do you package a sensor to keep it from breaking during transport”?  “How can a soldier wearing protective gear and 60 minutes of air in an SCBA system transport this sprayer to an event sight”? In hindsight, having a better appreciation for the issues encountered in the past few years would have significantly impacted the approach taken earlier.   This presentation will describe some lessons-learned throughout this process.  I gained this awareness through experience, which unfortunately costs time and money to acquire.  The CBRE threat mitigation community would significantly benefit from the development of programs that provide technology developers with greater access/visibility to the constraints on the warfighter.

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