Battelle’s Common Analytical Laboratory System reaches major milestone
Battelle is bringing its expertise to bear in a project that is one step closer to helping protect people during incidents of chemical and biological threats, the Columbus, OH-based company announced April 3.
The Common Analytical Laboratory System (CALS) is being developed to meet the needs of the Department of Defense’s military branches. Currently, all branches have different equipment, analytical protocols and training regimens when responding to threat incidences involving chemical, biological or radiological threats.
CALS is essentially three variants of mobile laboratories that provide on-site analytical capabilities to any incident location and do so in a standardized way that helps increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. The latest variant under test is based on the Battelle CALS design and modified as an update for the existing Analytical Laboratory Systems.
In January, these units, designed by Battelle and delivered to the government in 2018, were set up at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) in Aberdeen, MD for a three-week training event that was the first-time end-users obtained detailed, hands-on experience with the new system. The next step will be a government-led Battelle-supported field test to evaluate operational suitability with the military members who will use the system.
“We are proud to reach this important milestone alongside the Joint Product Manager CBRNE Analytics and Response Systems team,” said Rodney Black, deputy program manager for the project. “It’s a fairly complex challenge to meet the individual mission needs of the end-users for each of the CALS variants. But, we were able to bring our long and deep history of using technology to solve complex challenges involving chemical and biological threats.”
Part of the challenge also included integrating laboratory analytical equipment into a mobile, truck-mounted laboratory safely and reliably while balancing different aspects of utility, space and weight.
Battelle is about to complete the fourth year of the $34.8 million contract which is for the Joint Product Manager CBRNE Analytics and Response Systems.