The ability of ECBC scientists to remotely direct the Deep Purple and MDARS
platforms and collect incoming data from the sensors in a single information-sharing system was just as much a demonstration of new, cutting-edge technology as operating the autonomous drones.
The idea behind MDARS is to provide multiple platforms that perform random patrols within assigned areas on bases and warehouse.
In the grand scheme of the future force, MDARS may find its place supporting the so-called FCS unit of employment.
Stockel maintained, however, that the mission MDARS performs will be outside the FCS operational requirements document.
MDARS also will have to respond to the installation standardized intruder detection systems and sensors.
MDARS is supposed to run 12 hours without human intervention.
Depending on how it is employed, MDARS has the potential, coupled with supplemental ground sensors, to reduce the security personnel that may be needed, he said.
Planned enhancements for MDARS include improved all-weather detection, outfitting the system with ballistic and nuclear biological and chemical protection, and military secure communications.
MDARS weighs more than 2,900 pounds, has a 42-hp diesel engine and can travel up at 20 miles per hour.
One operator can manage as many as 10 MDARS vehicles from a three-screen control station that shows where each vehicle is on a map of the area.