News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

4. Chemical and Biological Defense

Contamination avoidance is the highest priority of the DoD chemical and biological (CB) defense program. The program also includes force protection (individual and collective), medical, and decontamination. The past 2 years have been marked by growing interest and rapid advances in and proliferation of biosensing technology for environmental, industrial, and medical applications. For example, in recent years, Singapore has made a significant national investment in a world–class facility and may offer future capabilities in sensors and materials for personnel protection and decontamination.

While these technologies are dual use in nature, the growing threat of CB weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has focused continued attention on development of operational sensors to meet military requirements. Table E–7 indicates areas of capability and trends. The U.K., France, Germany, and Japan

Table E–7.  International Research Capabilities—Chemical and Biological Defense


United Kingdom




Asia/Pacific Rim


Other Countries

Electromagnetic Environment Survivability 2s.gif (968 bytes) Propagation & EMP effects 2s.gif (968 bytes) Propagation & EMP effects 2s.gif (968 bytes) Propagation & EMP effects     Russia

2s.gif (968 bytes) EMP effects


5s.gif (958 bytes) Propagation

Canada, India

5s.gif (958 bytes) High altitude electromagnetic pulse


5s.gif (958 bytes) Propagation

Radiation, Blast, & Thermal Protection 2s.gif (968 bytes) All aspects 2s.gif (968 bytes) Blast & thermal 2s.gif (968 bytes) All aspects 5s.gif (958 bytes) Transient radiation effects on electronics   Russia

2s.gif (968 bytes)


5s.gif (958 bytes) All Aspects

Detection 1s.gif (931 bytes) Chemical agent point sensors 1s.gif (931 bytes) CBW agent point & remote sensing 1s.gif (931 bytes) Detection systems 1s.gif (931 bytes) Singapore

4s.gif (949 bytes)


2s.gif (968 bytes) BW detection sensors


1s.gif (931 bytes) Detection systems

Israel, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland

5s.gif (958 bytes) Detection sensors

Individual Protection 2s.gif (968 bytes) 2s.gif (968 bytes) 2s.gif (968 bytes) 5s.gif (958 bytes)   Russia

2s.gif (968 bytes)


2s.gif (968 bytes)

Collective Protection 2s.gif (968 bytes) Vehicle systems 1s.gif (931 bytes) Vehicle systems 2s.gif (968 bytes) 2s.gif (968 bytes)   Russia

2s.gif (968 bytes)


2s.gif (968 bytes)

Decontamination   1s.gif (931 bytes) Electronics decon 2s.gif (968 bytes) 2s.gif (968 bytes)     Canada

4s.gif (949 bytes)

Modeling & Simulation 5s.gif (958 bytes)

2s.gif (968 bytes) DIS

5s.gif (958 bytes)

2s.gif (968 bytes) DIS

5s.gif (958 bytes) 5s.gif (958 bytes) Local meteorology China

5s.gif (958 bytes) Meteorology

5s.gif (958 bytes) Meteorology transport effects Canada, Israel

5s.gif (958 bytes)


6s.gif (990 bytes) Atmospheric transport effects

Note: See Annex E, Section A.6 for explanation of key numerals.

all have strong capabilities in sensors, with France having particular strengths in remote sensing. Germany and Israel have strengths in individual and collective protection, with Germany identified as particularly capable in collective protection for military vehicles.

Modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities relate to and are parallel to capabilities in meteorology and prediction of atmospheric transport effects and sensor performance modeling. Remote and real–time point detection of CB agents are prominently identified in the Joint Warfighting Science and Technology Plan (JWSTP), as are models and simulations to support processing and dissemination of real–time warning and reporting data. The ASTMP Volume I, Chapter IV includes milestones for these and identifies additional requirements for individual and collective protection and decontamination. Table E–7 summarizes potential prospects.

Following are highlights in specific areas that offer potential opportunities for cooperative efforts to advance.

a. Electromagnetic Environment (EME) Survivability

Even civilian electronics are exposed to a wide range of electromagnetic (EM) interference and naturally occurring electromagnetic propulsion (EMP) effects. In addition, the phenomenology of propagation is fundamental to design of sensors and communications. Thus, capabilities and potential cooperative opportunities are indicated in countries that are traditional producers of military communications equipment. With regard to techniques for protecting military systems against EMP, the existing nuclear powers—the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia—have the most practical experience.

b. Radiation, Blast, and Thermal Protection

Most countries involved in development of military hardware require some capabilities for analysis and design of systems and structures to protect against radiation, blast, and thermal effects. In addition, civilian nuclear power systems and space systems must be designed and built to withstand a variety of radiation effects. With regard to techniques for protecting military systems against nuclear weapon effects, the existing nuclear powers—the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia—have the most practical experience.

c. Detection

Reliable detection of biological warfare (BW) agents is particularly difficult, due to the high background and diversity of naturally occurring organisms. Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in joint exercises (completed in 1995), that identified promising technologies. Other countries, including Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia, have ongoing work in various methods of biodetection.

One method of point detection and identification of CB agents now under active investigation is mass spectrometry. The goal is to develop technologies that result in significant improvements to the CB agent detection/identification capability of fieldable mass spectrometers. This includes technological means to increase the sensitivity, speed of response, selectivity, and specificity. There is an existing agreement with Germany in this technology area that could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to leverage Germany’s past developmental experience with the development, integration, and testing of mass spectrometers in such systems as the Fuchs NBCRS.

A 6.2 exploratory development program for a biological detector (BD) has been completed successfully in cooperation with the United Kingdom and Canada. A follow–on 6.3b development has been conducted with the U.K. and Canada. The focus of cooperative development has shifted from hardware elements to antibodies and reagents, with increased emphasis on joint test and evaluation (T&E). The results of this cooperative project are contributing to the upgrade of the interim U.S. Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS). The Czech Republic has a capability in nerve agent detection and is in the process of developing a promising new detector. The Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM) is discussing possible cooperation with it. Poland has developed a new protocol for detecting spores, using current BIDS equipment. This procedure is being integrated into U.S. doctrine.

The BD will be a component of the BIDS, providing an automatic detection and identification capability. The objective is to develop and field an automated antibody–based BD that will be incorporated into the detector suite of the BIDS. Cooperative efforts are focused on development of the agents at target concentrations, as well as the T&E of these antibodies in various prototype detection systems. There are existing agreements in this technology area with the United Kingdom and Canada that could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to address this opportunity.

Systems using remote detection offer obvious advantages over point source detectors, which must be in local contact with the CBW agent. The United States and France (with whom there is an existing agreement for work in this area) are world leaders in laser technology and in CBW–related technologies, and have exchanged much information in CBW research and testing. French R&D may contribute to development of standoff biological agent detection and identification capability using laser light scattering techniques.

d. Individual Protection

Virtually any country advanced enough to have concerns for medical isolation, personal protection, and industrial safety in hazardous CB environments will have some expertise in personal protection. However only a few countries—notably the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and Israel—have extensive capabilities in meeting the requirements demanded for operational military use. (Military requirements are primarily distinguished by the need to sustain a level of operational effectiveness over an extended (many–hour) time period.) This places particular demands on support services and primary power for same. The United States and Canada have jointly developed a new vapor systems test for identifying leaks in the seals of individual protection equipment. Germany has a major mask effort under way, as does France. Israel has developed a number of "civilian" masks.

e. Collective Protection

Collective protection encompasses the need to protect both fixed and mobile assets from nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons effects. Current collective protection filters for combat vehicles impose a significant logistic burden in their requirement for replacement after a finite number of attacks or after extended attack–free service. Technologies are under investigation to create filters that have a nearly indefinite service life and offer exceedingly broad spectrum protection. The primary candidate at the moment is pressure swing absorption technology.

The U.K. has been developing temperature swing adsorption for collective protection, which will likely go into the next–generation scout vehicle and may be part of a joint U.S.–U.K. program. The United States has pursued a research and exploratory development program to model the performance of such systems and to do some confirmatory testing. Germany initiated a companion program last year and had planned to begin to obtain test data but experienced nontechnical difficulties in the laboratory. Technical experts on both sides have met and data collection is scheduled to begin later in the year.

With regard to specific opportunities for cooperation, the U.S. has extensive experience with prototype systems that could reduce German development costs very significantly while still providing an extensive prototype database. German R&D may contribute additional experimental data for validation of the U.S. computational models, thereby reducing U.S. development costs while increasing reliability. There are existing agreements in this technology area with Germany that could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to address this opportunity.

f. Decontamination

In addition to operational battlefield decontamination, specific ASTMP NBC warfare (NBCW) objectives include the effective remediation of contaminated waste sites and the destruction (using environmentally safe practices) of chemical agents and energetic materials. Bioprocesses have the potential to meet these requirements.

Existing decontaminating liquids are caustic and logistically difficult to handle. Enzymes are being investigated for use as catalytic agents to neutralize chemical agents. While personnel protection is of primary importance, there is also a requirement to protect and decontaminate mission critical equipment. At present, there are no methods available for the decontamination of sensitive equipment such as avionics, electronics, detectors, computers, and communication equipment. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the United States was pursuing the development of a system to satisfy this requirement. Germany (with whom there are existing agreements that could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to address this requirement) also was beginning a companion study. Both efforts were terminated because the technology used an ozone–depleting substance. Steeply declining defense budgets over the next few years and higher priorities forced the United States to all but abandon the search for a technical solution. Germany, however, continued to pursue the issue as part of the Haupt Entgiftungs Platz–90 (HEP–90) development and has exploratory development studies underway. Canada is also strong in the subarea of decontamination, having developed, in time for the Gulf War, the most effective universal Soman (nerve agent) antitoxin.

The CBD program is now managed as a fully integrated joint service program; this has resulted in the resurfacing of this requirement and work on decontamination needs is currently scheduled to begin again, albeit at modest levels, in FY97. This is reflected in the Defense Technology Objective (DTO) CB.09.12.D, "Decontamination for Global Reach." Ongoing German R&D may contribute to the development of equipment capable of decontaminating sensitive pieces of military hardware without damaging them irreversibly. Of the concepts currently being explored, one using new aqueous surfactant and decontaminant formulations appears to be the most promising.

Biotechnology also (specifically biodegradation/bioremediation) provides methods for decontamination of waste sites and the demilitarization of energetic materials. These processes are accomplished through the use of biological organisms including fungi, bacteria, and algae. Japan, the U.K., Germany (with whom there is an existing agreement that could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to address this opportunity), France, Israel, and the Nordic group (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) have significant capabilities in segments of this area. France is particularly strong in developing bioprocessing techniques for disposing of energetic materials (explosives and propellants). Biotechnology is highly internationalized and strongly centralized within the European Community (EC). Because of the open nature of exchange in this area, agreements with one nation may serve as a vehicle for accessing EC technology at large.

g. Modeling and Simulation

Much of the capability needed for M&S of CB transport and dispersion modeling is common to civil weather forecasting and environmental pollution modeling. The U.K., France, Germany, Canada, and Israel all have or have had active programs that provide a potential basis for cooperation in M&S of atmospheric effects on agent dispersion. Other countries that have evidenced strong interest in fine–grain meteorological prediction include Japan, China, and Russia. Denmark has also typically had an effort, although it has not invested heavily in staying up to date.

Distributed interactive simulation (DIS) is one effort underway to develop training and materiel development simulation systems interconnected via a high–level architecture (HLA). Current efforts include the inclusion of chemical, biological, and smoke effects into the HLA, both for training in a CB environment and for materiel acquisition support. DIS has the potential to account for environmental and equipment effects; can operate in virtual, constructive, or live modes, and will use high–fidelity phenomenology and component models. Further, this will provide a value–added process for systems and materiel evaluations.

Japan has placed particular emphasis on the use of dynamic distributed simulations of large, complex, geographically dispersed industrial enterprises like electrical power systems. Similar technologies are being developed and implemented in Canada.

The United States has extensive expertise in the development of DIS networks. The (other) Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) member countries could take advantage of this network and tie in at a much reduced cost. Further, by initiating HLA nodes reflecting their equipment, it would be possible to develop doctrine and training better suited to coalition forces. An existing agreement in this technological area with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand could potentially expedite implementation of a specific program agreement to address this.

AMC POC: Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd.
Alexandria, VA 22333–0001
e–mail: [email protected]

IPOC: Dr. George R. Famini/Ms. Juanita M. Keesee
U.S. Army Edgewood RD&E Center
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010–5423
e–mail: [email protected]
e–mail: [email protected]

For individual collective protection:

IPOC: Dr. Richard Strecker/Ms. Jan Lanza
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command
U.S. Army Natick RDE Center
Natick, MA 01760–5015
e–mail: jlanza@natick–
e–mail: rstrecke@natick–

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