09.29.11

Leahy Announces $9 M. Army Contracts For Randolph Firm

Firm Produces Smart Sensors To Protect U.S. Troops

(THURSDAY, Sept. 29) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced two U.S. Army contracts — one for $6.5 million and the other for $2.8 million — to buy wireless sensors from Applied Research Associates (ARA), which has a manufacturing plant in Randolph, Vt.

ARA won the competitive contract for producing their Expendable Unattended Ground Sensors, which are placed in the ground and used to protect troops.  These small devices, the size of a hockey puck, are equipped with long-life batteries and antennae, and are used, among other ways, for perimeter monitoring at remote Army bases.  The sensors can detect footsteps and vehicle traffic, even in windy or rainy conditions.  They are called “expendable” because they cost far less than other sensors on the market.

Leahy said most of this work under the two contracts will be completed in Vermont.  ARA, a national high-tech firm, has a division on Beanville Road in Randolph which has special expertise in manufacturing sensors and robotics.  ARA Vice President and Vermont Sector Manager David Timian explains that ARA’s sensors are superior to others because they have a longer battery life, a larger transmission area and a low jamming probability.

Leahy, who has helped secure nearly $30 million in contracts for ARA since 2003, said he was proud to see Vermonters working on cutting-edge technology that will help keep U.S. troops safe.  “This contract ensures that ARA will stay in the forefront of providing a superb product that helps save the lives of our men and women in the field,” he said.  “It also supports high-skill jobs in Vermont at a time when we need them more than ever.”

“The ability to manufacture these items in Vermont is due in large part to the engineering and technician talent available in central Vermont,” said Timian.  “That being said, without the important research and development contracts that Senator Leahy has helped secure for us, we would not have the Randolph facility in operation.”  

ARA is an employee-owned research and engineering company headquartered New Mexico.  Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the Pentagon’s budget. 

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