U.S. Marine Corps ready to use unmanned ground vehicle Polaris to protect military bases 2402145
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New Unmanned Ground Vehicle for U.S. Marines
|Monday, February 24, 2014 09:42 AM|
|U.S. Marine Corps ready to use unmanned ground vehicle Polaris to protect military bases.|
The United States Marine Corps is experimenting with a new unmanned ground vehicle that can patrol installations and detect intruders or potential enemy forces nearly a mile away. The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System, or MDARS, was used in late January to successfully secure an air base during the latest Integrated Training Exercise.
The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System uses color and infrared cameras, allowing operators to see things that Marines conducting ground patrols cannot.
Combat Center Marines took a first-hand look at the Mobile Detection Assessment Response System at Camp Wilson’s ACE Compound Jan. 30, 2014. The console-controlled Polaris Military Diesel Crew provides unmanned, external security and surveillance on defensive perimeters.
During the first night, the vehicle was autonomously navigating around the base — by heading to predetermined waypoints — when guards in one tower detected two potential enemy soldiers, said Pat Culliton, the MDARS program manager with San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.
The highly adaptable vehicle, which was developed under the sponsorship of the Army’s Product Manager Force Protection Systems at Ft. Belvoir, Va., has an array of advanced sensors. They include lasers for navigation, daylight and infrared cameras for surveillance and a radar with nearly a one-mile range, all affixed to a Polaris Military Diesel Crew off-road vehicle. It also has a 10,000 candle power spotlight and could be equipped with audio warning devices, non-lethal munitions or even light weapons.
The vehicle can be set to roam free, navigate to predetermined waypoints, or in the case of the two potential enemy detected the first night, scrambled to an area of interest to investigate further.
The U.S. Army had plans to deploy several of the vehicles to Afghanistan to aid at entry control points where they could alert soldiers of potential threats before they arrive at checkpoints. But, those plans were canceled as the drawdown got underway.