Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (Nbc) Defense Systems

Army, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (Nbc) Defense Systems


A wide range of items and systems provide today's warfighter with contamination avoidance, protection, decontamination and obscuration capabilities. Several representative examples are provided below.

Contamination Avoidance

The United States has fielded several types of nuclear detection and monitoring systems to assist in contamination avoidance. A family of radioactivity detection indication and computation (Radiac) equipment is being fielded to U.S. forces to upgrade 30-year-old technology with digital equipment that incorporates advances in modern electronics.

Radiac provides soldiers and comman- ; ders with nuclear radiation detection equipment, allowing them to fight effectively and survive on the nuclear battlefield. It also minimizes nuclear radiation exposure of troops during such peacetime missions as peacekeeping, nuclear-accident response and recovery of vehicles and equipment containing radioactive material.

The AN/UDR-13 Radiac Set is a compact, handheld, pocket-size tactical radiation meter. It measures and displays gamma dose rate and total gamma/neutron cumulative dose in a battlefield environment.

A push-button pad enables mode selection, functional control and the setting of audio and visual alarm thresholds for both dose rate and mission dose. A "sleep" mode with automatic wake-up enhances battery life. A liquid crystal display provides data readout and warning-mode messages. As a replacement for the older IM-93/PP-1578, UDR-13 improvements include prompt dose measurement, including neutrons, alarms and measures rate, backlit display and stable readings and calibration. It does not need a separate charger.

The AN/VDR-2 Radiac Set detects and measures nuclear radiation from fallout and radioisotopes. The system replaces the older IM-174 and AN/PDR-27. It performs ground radiological surveys from vehicles or, in the dismounted mode, as a handheld instrument. The set can also provide a quantitative measure of radiation to help personnel, equipment and supply decontamination operations.

Components of the Radiac set include the Radiac meter IM-243, probe DT-616 and a pouch with strap. Kits are available as common table of allowances items for installation of the Radiac set in various military vehicles.

The set includes an audible and/or visual alarm that is compatible with vehicular nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protective systems in armored vehicles, and it also interfaces with vehicular power systems and intercoms.

The AN/PDR-75 Radiac Set measures the prompt and residual gamma doses and neutron doses stored on the DT-236 indivictual dosimeter from 1 to 1,000 centigray (cGy). The system provides a new operational capability to monitor and record the total dose exposure of individual personnel to gamma and neutron radiation. It measures total neutron and gamma doses from O to 1,000 cGy, and it responds to and measures prompt radiation from nuclear bursts. It will be used to calculate unit radiation status and to perform medical triage and assist in unit reconstitution.

The AN/PDR-77 Radiac Set detects and measures alpha, beta, gamma and X-ray radiation. The system replaces the older AN/PDR-56F and AN/PDR-60, which relied on aging technology and were not sensitive enough to accomplish the Army's alpha detection mission.

The AN/PDR-77 incorporates commercially available measurement electronics, an alpha probe, beta gamma probe and X-ray probe. The set has a digital liquid crystal display, is auto-ranging and has settable audio and/or visual alarm thresholds. This is the primary Radiac device to support the storage and movement of nuclear weapons, respond to nuclear accidents and maintain Army equipment containing radioactive materials.

Chemical Detection

The M21 Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm is the first standoff chemical agent detector approved for fielding to the soldier. It gives early warning of blister and nerve agents up to five kilometers, thus allowing field commanders to identify and maneuver around contaminated areas. …

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