Government trials were conducted over two weeks to assess the biological sampling and identification capabilities of the PIABC* PELICAN** platform as part of an advanced study project financed and managed by France's Defence Innovation Agency and the NBC management unit (UM NBC) at the French defence procurement agency (DGA).
Led by the French defence procurement agency's CBRN testing establishment (DGA Maîtrise NRBC), the trials were conducted by the 2nd Dragoon Regiment of the French Army stationed at Fontevraud and the CBRN intervention unit (UI NRBC) of the French Air and Space Force stationed at Cazaux, in the presence of representatives of the French Army’s Technical Section (STAT), senior staff from the nuclear security and CBRN unit at Cazaux, and industry partners.
The trials included:
• sampling with the COLIBRI system developed by Bertin
• sample unpacking and processing in the BAG isolator developed by EuroBioConcept
• sample preparation in the SAULEIL system developed by Thales
• transfer via the SPOT system developed by Bertin
• identification with the GENEXPERT system provided by Bertin.
All additional test equipment (dispersion, metrology, transfer, etc.) were provided by DGA Maîtrise NRBC and the armed forces.
The tests marked a significant milestone in the project, after four years of development, integration and industrial validation in close partnership with the Defence Innovation Agency and the procurement agency's UM NBC and Maîtrise NRBC units, and built on extensive feedback from the armed forced during equipment presentations and technical meetings.
The operation effectively validated the developments completed so far on the PIABC project and the level of maturity of the technologies involved. It underscored the value of the partnership between Thales and Bertin in the CBRN field, and confirmed Thales's role as a systems architect for civil and military CBRN defence systems.
Participants reiterated their interest in the latest system innovations, which were conclusively tested over the two-week campaign. The biological sampling and identification trials provided a golden opportunity for all the specialists involved to share their vision of the CBRN solutions of the future and gather feedback from all the parties involved.
* PIABC: Plateforme d’Intégration de technologies innovantes du domaine de l’Analyse Biologique et Chimique / Platform for the integration of innovative technologies in the domain of biological and chemical analysis
** PELICAN: Plate-forme d’Evaluation Logicielle pour l’Ingénierie et la Conception d’Architectures NRBC / Software platform for evaluation of engineering and architecture design of CBRN defence systems