In the face of the possibility of a CBRNe incident there is a need to quickly and accurately present local commanders with an integrated sensor picture. Monitoring a perimeter or protecting an event from such incidents often involves a high element of risk for human personnel and requires a high degree of exposure in potential hot zones. The ability to deploy unmanned sensors, by using wireless sensor networks, is of great importance. If the ability of the wireless sensor networks is suitably explored and harnessed, it is envisioned that these networks can reduce or eliminate the need for human involvement in information gathering in certain civilian and military applications. The need to use CBRNe sensors and create networks; permanent or ad hoc is also an established and evolving way of extending situational awareness.
The benefits of such networks are considerable. Following an incident like an attack, explosion or fire, the sensors would collect air-quality data, sample it and transmit threat-level information to a command & control centre to keep people out of harm's way. Analysis of the data at that centre would give commanders actionable information useful in developing an effective response.
The challenge is to provide an intelligent and integrated network of CBRNe sensors that will be able to feed accurate data into the Command & Control centre in a timely manner.
In the event of a CBRNe incident, the objective is to alert the command and control operators quickly with real time and accurate information regarding the presence of a hazardous substance in the area monitored. The deployed sensor devices must have the ability to detect chemical, biological, radiological and explosive substances. Successful detection requires the system to obtain current position of the alarming sensor with acceptable precision and confidence. When the information is obtained, it has to be reported to a remote base station within an acceptance latency.
Several requirements must be satisfied to make the network system useful in practice. These requirements include:
• operation from a few hours or days to several months
• operation with different types of sensors (chemical, biological, radiological) to accommodate different environments, security requirements and detection needs
• integration with meteorological sensors and plume modelling software
• easily deployable and re-deployable system for flexible applications
• secure data transfer between the sensors and the command & control centre
• precision in locating and reporting an event
The typical applications in which such a system needs to operate range from perimeter protection of a facility or government building, response to a CBRNe incident, cordon control, surveillance and event management amongst others.
The Smiths Detection Solution
Over the course of more than a decade, Smiths Detection has developed subject matter expertise spanning chemical, radiological and biological detection. The depth and breadth of Smiths’ capabilities uniquely qualifies the company to offer network solutions for CBRNe warning and reporting resulting in maximum system effectiveness, low operational cost and reduced logistics burden.
The Smiths wireless network of sensors system based upon the LCD family of sensors, Sensa-LINX, helps First Responders and military personnel to protect against and respond to CBRNe incidents. When a CBRNe event occurs, decision makers must receive information quickly to make effective choices to keep people and assets safe. Sensa-LINX provides early warning of CBRNe events and provides this information when it is needed.
Sensa-LINX has been designed to allow the LCD family of detectors, such as the LCD 3.3, LCD-NEXUS and the forthcoming CAM-XTR to be wirelessly networked to a single location - enabling centralized recording of data as well as control and monitoring. A wired solution for more permanent deployments could also be provided if required.
Each detector is physically connected to a specialized and rugged radio modem called a Sensor Node. Three variants of the sensor node enable the system to operate on license exempt frequency bands (900MHz, 868MHz or 2.4GHz). The Universal Communications Protocol developed by Smiths to enable the integration of the LCD detectors can be utilised to integrate additional Smiths and 3rd party sensors (Rad, Bio, Met and others) to the existing platform.
The Controller Laptop has a software application (C2 application) installed that records, interprets and displays the sensor data sent via the Sensor Nodes. Each sensor node is capable of transmitting sensor data at ranges up to 3KM depending on the frequency of the sensor node. The data acquired from the network of detectors can then be used to produce reports in ATP 45 message formats.
Using the Sensa-LINX system the C2 operator is able to detect, identify, geographically locate and monitor potential CBRNe hazards and in the event of a CBRNe incident, take the appropriate protective measures in a timely and effective manner.
The system utilises a plug and play approach for the integration of the sensors. The C2 software enables intuitive navigation of the graphic user interface that displays the location of the sensors on a GIS map utilising the global positioning system (GPS) within the radio modem. The system sensors perform self discovery as they start to operate and update their location on the GIS display. The operator is able to interrogate and control the networked sensors remotely. The user interface offers information that indicates the sensor’s health status and allows the operator to carry out certain actions such as mute the sensor’s alarm or control the brightness of the sensor display. In the event of a detection the C2 software will generate an audible and a visual alarm to notify the operator. The C2 application will also display the same information available at the sensor display such as agent identified and dosage.
The Smiths Detection Sensa-LINX product has been designed to be a portable, robust, unobtrusive and intuitive way of networking the Smiths Detection LCD family of sensors. The Sensa-LINX has 5 primary application roles as follows:
• Event protection
• Incident response
• Temporary perimeter protection
• Surveillance & Reconnaissance
• Critical Infrastructure protection
Based on Smiths Detection’s extensive and advanced sensing capability, we believe that we have created a wireless early warning and reporting system suitable for a large number of diverse applications and environments. The Sensa-LINX capabilities enable remote monitoring and operation of the LCD family creating a low maintenance and reliable system that is easily deployable and re-deployable for mobile and permanent/semi permanent perimeter protection.
The Sensa-LINX product can be adapted for permanent installations by the introduction of a wired infrastructure. Additional sensors (Smiths or 3rd party) can also be integrated to the existing platform to satisfy different security and detection requirements. Interfaces to 3rd party software are also possible as the Sensa-LINX Command & Control application has been designed to do so.
View the data sheet here.