Alion Builds and Demonstrates Robotic “Mule” for Battlefield Use
Technology solutions provider supports the Army’s PEO STRI in developing workhorse vehicle
McLean, VA – June 18, 2007 – Alion Science and Technology, an employee-owned technology solutions company, has designed, developed and successfully demonstrated an autonomous robotic vehicle with the capability to carry over 1,000 pounds of combat and medical gear across the battlefield.
Under an $850,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) product contract, Alion’s Micro Analysis & Design (MA&D) Operation provided program management, system design, development, human systems integration and test and evaluation functions for the self-mobile trailer (SMT). The vehicle, which can travel at a speed of up to 28 mph, features a hybrid electric design, enabling it to enter danger zones silently. It also features a top-mounted rack system for cargo restraint. The rack system reconfigures in the field into two man-sized stretchers.
“I consider the SMT concept demonstration to be a huge success as it provided a means to evaluate the performance and operational utility of the SMT prototype vehicle,” said Sal Strano, project director with the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), headquartered in Orlando, Fl. “Based on the results of the demo, I feel that the SMT proved that it could enhance a military operator’s ability to carry a combat load, improve endurance in the field, and increase situational awareness.”
The self-mobile trailer is adaptable and can be configured for seated personnel, MEDEVAC and cargo transport. It is just as flexible in the missions it can perform, which include: expediting the recovery of parachute payload bundles deployed with troops; acting as a look out on reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisitions missions; assisting combat controller missions by providing laser ranging, surveying and target designation capabilities; and providing expeditionary power to support operations in any area of interest as well as auxiliary power for medical equipment and power tools.
“This vehicle features a very innovative design. It is the result of a strong human factors approach to meet the needs of the soldiers,” said Rod Riddick, Alion Senior Vice President and Manager of the Integration Solutions Group. “The vehicle is capable of nearly silent operation with extremely low visible, thermal, acoustic and radar signatures. It is highly mobile, capable of autonomously trailing a foot patrol over challenging terrain and fording small rivers.”
General Dynamics Robotics Systems, of Westminster, Md., was a subcontractor under Alion on the project.
This press release contains information about management’s view of Alion’s future expectations, plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of risk factors and uncertainties discussed in documents periodically filed by Alion with the SEC. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.