DOD interested in chem/bio training simulators

The U.S. Department of Defense is reportedly interested in acquiring an advanced training system from Argon Electronics capable of simulating the effects of a radiological weapon.

The system, known as PlumeSIM, can be used in virtual and live exercises and can simulate several types of chemical and radiological releases, including those created by a Fukushima-size nuclear meltdown, according to

"We are engaged in discussions with different parties in the U.S. with regard to PlumeSIM for both nuclear response training and also for military CWA [chemical warfare agent] training," Steven Pike, the managing director for Argon Electronics, said, reports.

Pike said that Argon is also speaking to various military and civilian homeland security customers.

Argon manufactures handheld simulators that replicate radiological and chemical agent detectors that are currently in use, such as the M4 and M4E1 joint chemical agent detectors and AN/PDR-77 radiation detectors currently used by the military.

"PlumeSIM was designed to allow you to pull all of these instruments together for larger exercises," Pike said, reports.

The system gives instructors the ability to designate releases of chemical and radiological activity on a digital map that is integrated with Argon's handheld devices. The devices then react when a user enters a designated zone as if an agent were present.

"We can simulate individual and multiple releases, contamination of individuals and also contamination of areas," Pike said, reports. "The simulators will respond accordingly, depending upon the simulated threat. The instructor is able to monitor the movement of the students and the indications on their simulators in real time on the computer system."

Argon is currently developing a respirator canister simulator that can be integrated with PlumeSIM. The new simulator will be able to determine whether an individual has applied the correct settings and filter on the device for the treat presented.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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