Detroit Auto Show: Army's New SmarTruck Vehicle Adapts to Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Missions


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

    DETROIT, Jan. 7, 2003; The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments
Command's National Automotive Center (NAC) today unveiled SmarTruck II, a
versatile prototype, multi-purpose vehicle capable of both counterterrorism
support and homeland security for a variety of community service and
humanitarian aid missions.
    The technology-laden vehicle introduces several new electronic and
communications technologies, including a POINTER remotely controlled electric
Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), advanced SPIKE pinpoint laser-guided missile, 360-
degree video cameras, four integrated state-of-the-art global communications
systems and a unique hyperbolic interactive website for data acquisition.
    Built on a modified Chevrolet Silverado platform, this innovative 6x6 all-
wheel drive vehicle is engineered to meet military, homeland security,
counterterrorism and municipal government challenges in a post-Sept. 11
environment.  SmarTruck II packs a bevy of electronically intelligent devices,
state-of-the-art global communication systems and weapon options that will
give its crew some crucial mission advantages.
    "SmarTruck II is a multi-purpose vehicle for what are, in reality, 'multi-
purpose' missions.  This unique vehicle is now ready and able to meet those
challenges facing local, state and federal agencies," said Dennis J. Wend,
executive director of the NAC.  "If you don't know exactly what you need,
what's the next best thing?  A modular vehicle that can become anything you
want it to be."
    SmarTruck II incorporates an interchangeable mobile applications system.
The system consists of a heavy-duty stainless steel receiver frame that
accepts multiple combinations of new special applications modules/pods.  These
interchangeable pods can be configured to perform a wide range of military
missions or homeland security activities.  The vehicle can be quickly adapted
to meet any mission requirement.
    "Beyond the military role, SmarTruck II can be configured for homeland
security, community service and humanitarian aid applications such as disaster
relief, medical response, surveillance, field kitchen, water purification,
wide area lighting, water pump and as a command and control center," commented
Wend.

    Technology Enhancements
    SmarTruck II puts advanced technology directly into the hands of our
nation's defenders and first responders.  The vehicle can be configured based
on one of four specialized Modulo(TM) modules: Base Power Module, Electro
Optics Module, Weapons Module Pad with SPIKE missile launcher demonstrator,
and Integrated Communications Module with Crew Intercom systems.
    POINTER is an electric UAV hand-launched through the OnePicture(TM)
Integrated command and control console, which enables real-time video
transmission from vehicle to pilot and observer on the ground.  Optional
chemical and environment monitoring payloads are also available through the
POINTER UAV, equipping SmarTruck II to handle other applications such as air
pollution sensing and chemical weapons detection.
    SPIKE, a low-cost, man-packable, fire-and-forget guided missile and
launcher system, can fire two missiles simultaneously, either at the same
target or at independent targets.  SmarTruck II incorporates a 48-round
magazine into the weapons module, supplying reloads to vehicle launching
systems or shoulder-fired launchers.
    The innovative Hyperbolic WEB display provides multi-dimensional data
acquisition capability, sifting through large amounts of hierarchical
information to give the user the most accurate inside view of a particular
subject.  The hyperbolic display also provides an integrated "Hacker-in-a-Box"
suite of electronic tools, which allows a Homeland Defense vehicle to respond
to a hostile online threat.
    The 3D Mapping capability, integrated into the OnePicture(TM) operator
console, allows the user to better manipulate maps, storing real-time images
with video data-links in order to update terrain images on the fly.  A long
range Electro Optics Module includes a high power (50X) zoom video system with
thermal imaging and surveillance radar, which can detect moving objects within
7km of the vehicle.  Finally, a LED Messaging System enables precise infrared
spectrum communication from a lead vehicle through its taillights to trailing
vehicles in a convoy, displaying information such as speed, turning, braking
and distance between vehicles.

    The SmarTruck II project is collaborative effort between the NAC,
Integrated Concepts & Research Corporation (ICRC) of Alexandria, VA and
Applied Minds, Inc. of Glendale, CA.

    The National Automotive Center is the Army's official link to working with
commercial and academic partners to create vehicles that will give the Army
the mobility, survivability and agility it needs to operate efficiently and
effectively in today's new threat environment.  For the military, the NAC's
partnership approach makes it possible to improve vehicle performance, safety
and endurance while reducing design, manufacturing, operations and maintenance
costs.  For commercial partners, the application of jointly developed
technologies has similar impacts-safer cars and trucks, more advanced
technology available to the consumer and lower cost because of the broader
market base. For more information, please visit
http://www.techmarketing.brtrc.com/webdev/nac/site/naias2003.htm .

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