ARDIMS takes to the sky

362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Story by Spc. Ryan Hills

Date: 07.21.2014
Posted: 07.23.2014 20:25
News ID: 137067
ARDIMS takes to the sky

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - A UH-60L Black Hawk crew from A Company, 5th Battalion of the 159th Aviation Regiment teamed up with civilians to install and test a new radiation measuring system.

The Army Reserve unit from Clearwater, Florida, is the only crew currently trained to install and fly with the Airborne Radiation Detection and Identification Measurement System (ARDIMS) prototype.

“We are in the run phase,” said Sgt. Greg Buehring, a Clearwater native and crew chief with the 5-159th Aviation. “That’s why they asked us to support exercise Vibrant Response ‘14 with this new technology.”

Vibrant Response is a major field training exercise being conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North.

The ARDIMS consist of four pods that mount to the wings of the aircraft and monitoring equipment that mounts inside the cabin.

During VR ‘14, the ARDIMS crew will be flying missions in support of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Command from Aberdeen, Maryland.

The team will fly over the scenario’s radiological plume in a “lawn mower pattern” and map out the radiation levels of the affected area, said John Arthur, ARDIMS project leader from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

“We really want to see how well we can work together with the ground CBRNE teams,” Buehring said.

The system is used to measure radiation levels and find accessible locations for the teams to collect fallout samples from a nuclear event.

A video camera that is mounted to the nose of the Black Hawk also helps to give ground troops an idea of what they will come across when approaching the affected areas.

“We will be able to let the task force commander know whether or not the routes they want to take to get to a forward operating base are clear of both debris and radiological [threats],” said Capt. Richard Daughtry, a nuclear officer with the 20th CBRNE.

The 20th CBRNE will have a member of their Nuclear Disablement Team to collect the data from the ARDIMS in order to establish the most effective locations to collect samples.

Arthur hopes that, by the end of the year, the ARDIMS will receive an airworthiness release, allowing it to be used fleet-wide.