Dugway Proving Ground upgrades testing systems

The Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) facility in Utah is upgrading four test systems amounting to a $2.8 million investment to better replicate harsh environmental conditions or transport scenarios, officials announced Feb. 12.

One major test system undergoing a major overhaul is the vibration chamber that simulates transport in different forms such as ships, land vehicles and aircraft. The current system has been in place since the 1980s and uses half the budget spent on upgrades. The new system will have two shaker heads as opposed to one.

“Basically, what we’d do is take two smaller vibration units and couple them together to create one larger vibration unit,” DPG Test Support Division's Jim Barnett said. “Coupling them gives you the power to work with large loads.”

Other systems at the facility will replace older systems and parts. A Solar Radiation Chamber also is being constructed to replicate sunlight and test long-term effects of solar exposure on fabrics and equipment. Officials expect a dust-blowing chamber and a high-speed wind machine will be completed in 2016.

The DPG facility is a remote post of the U.S. Army in the Utah desert where defensive measures against chemical and biological warfare materials are tested.