08.12.10

Applied Research Associates of Randolph Is Awarded $10.6 Million In Contracts To Produce Demining Vehicle And Deliver Smart Sensors

RANDOLPH, Vt. (Thursday, August 12) – During a visit to Applied Research Associates (ARA) Vertek Division Thursday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced the firm has been awarded two separate contracts totaling $10.6 million from the U.S. Army to continue developing demining vehicles and to manufacture a next generation ground sensor. 

Leahy told a group of gathered ARA employees that he had secured a $4.72 million contract for ARA to continue work with the U.S. Army on a landmine and unexploded ordnance detection platform called the Nemesis SCOUT.  The platform, developed for the Army and mounted on a trailer, uses technology ARA developed with the help of previous Leahy-secured contracts to produce a remote-controlled tractor capable of locating and deactivating unexploded ordnance.

ARA Vertek Division Manager David Timian explained that unexploded ordnance, including landmines, pose major hazards in war-torn countries and on military test ranges.  Leahy said the new Nemesis SCOUT will help reduce the number of accidental injuries and deaths from soldier and civilian encounters with unexploded ordnance. 

Leahy and Timian also told employees that the firm has won a $5.9 million Army contract to produce urgently needed next generation ground sensors.  The wireless sensors, known as Expendable Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS), are long-lasting, compact disposable devices that are placed underground and provide surveillance data.  Timian explained that ARA has produced a sensor that has a longer battery life, a larger transmission area and a low jamming probability.

“ARA’s Vertek Division in Randolph is providing the leading technology to identify and remove deadly landmines that threaten the lives of our soldiers and countless civilians,” said Leahy.  “At the same time, the firm is producing a separate smart technology to be placed in the ground – a non-lethal smart sensor that will give vital information to our troops.” 

Including Thursday’s announcement, Leahy has helped secure more than $30 million since 2003 in contracts for ARA to develop the demining vehicles and other spinoff technologies.  During Thursday’s visit, Timian and other ARA leadership showed off several products including small radio controlled ground and air unmanned surveillance vehicles.

Timian said:  “ARA is excited about the technology developments that are going to be made with the funding support Senator Leahy has secured. Our employees are dedicated to working with technology to make the world a safer place.  With this support ARA’s engineers, scientists and technicians are able to design and produce landmine and UXO detection products that are meeting one of the world’s top needs.  ARA is working hard to create and grow quality, high technology jobs in Vermont. 

Through the support of projects like landmine detection and UGS production we have successfully recruited and hired over a dozen master’s and Ph.D. level engineers and scientists since last spring.  These projects help us showcase that Vermont has a lot to offer in the high technology arena and is a great place to live.” 

For two decades Leahy has been the leading U.S. officeholder in the movement to ban the worldwide use of antipersonnel landmines.  Leahy has also led efforts to support the U.S. military in developing new techniques and tools to remove landmines from former conflict zones.  Leahy has authored several laws toward that goal and played a key role in advancing a new international treaty banning anti-personnel landmines, which the United States has not yet signed.  In May, Leahy led a group of more than two thirds of the United States Senate in commending President Obama’s comprehensive review of the United States’ antipersonnel landmine policy which Leahy hopes may identify a path to signing the landmine treaty. 

Applied Research Associates, an employee owned company headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, solves national problems with the latest knowledge of science and technology.  The company’s Vertek division in Randolph, Vermont holds special expertise in robotics, sensors, and manufacturing.

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