Nero Industries Wards Off CBRN Threats with MARS Systems

20 Eylül 2019
Components in the MARS product family

You can read the special coverage published in the August 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:

 

Nero Industries is a developer of integrated subsystems and a supplier of user-specific solutions in the field of life support systems aboard land vehicles, and also grants protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats on the battlefield with its MARS systems. Manufacturing MARS CBRN Filtration Systems according to AEP54 standards in compliance with NATO requirements, the company also develops filters for these types of systems, which are possibly their most critical component.

 

The emplacement of the mask type MARS CBRN Filtration System inside the vehicle

The emplacement of the mask type MARS CBRN Filtration System inside the vehicle

 

Depending on user requirements, Nero Industries can produce both overpressure- and mask-type MARS systems. The overpressure-type MARS system comprises a control unit, filters and release valves, while the mask type systems include personnel masks in addition to the control unit and filters.

The MARS CBRN Filtration system takes the contaminated air outside the vehicle using a fan, and then passes it consecutively through a set of different filters. In each filter, the air is sequentially decontaminated of radiological, nuclear, biological and chemical threats, thus protecting the crew and, if any, passengers from external CBRN threats. The filters in the MARS systems and their functions are as follows:

  • Cyclone Filter: Comprising the first stage of the MARS system, this filter uses the centrifugation principle to remove dust and large particles from the contaminated air drawn from outside the vehicle, carrying them to the external parts of the filter, and so as the air passes through the filter, dust and particles remain in the filter. Most of radiation contamination is eliminated at this stage, since the large majority of radiation from nuclear and radiological weapons originates from radioactive particles that stick to dust.
  • Pre-Filter: Located before the HEPA filter, this filter removes some of the dangerous particles from the air, thereby extending the life of the HEPA filter.
  • HEPA Filter: This filter collects all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers (microns) in the air, and can hold biological agents that act as carriers for different types of diseases. All biological threats are eliminated at this stage, since even the smallest of microorganisms, such as bacteria, are larger than 1 micron.
  • Activated Carbon Filter: By the time the air that has been cleaned of any radioactive and biological threat reaches this filter, it is only likely to contain only potential chemical threats. The porous structure of the activated carbon found in this filter captures chemical agents such as sarin gas, mustard gas, chlorine, tabun, soman and Vx.

The filtration system can deliver between 80 to 200 cubic meters of purified air per hour. The filters require no power to operate, while the fan that conveys fresh air to the inside of the vehicle operates with a current of only 12 amperes.

The company is currently establishing a filter production room that is compliant with NATO standards. Upon completion, the company will transfer its ongoing filter production activities to this room, and thus enhance the already high levels of reliability of its filters.

 

Positive-Pressure and Mask-Type Systems

Positive Pressure CBRN systems are utilised in vehicles that can be rendered airtight by means of hatches and gaskets. In these types of vehicles, personnel enter the vehicle and shut the hatches, cutting off any contact between the air inside the vehicle and the outside world. The positive pressure generated by the CBRN filtration system inside the vehicle guarantees that no contaminated air can enter from the exterior of the vehicle. Ensuring such airtightness, however, may not be possible in every vehicle. For example, in vehicles such as armoured personnel carriers, the hatches may need to be opened and closed repeatedly during combat, making such airtightness unfeasible due to the basic design of the vehicle. Mask type CBRN systems are preferred in such cases, in which the cleaned and filtered air is supplied to personnel masks through pipes.

The positive pressure systems in the MARS product family generate 230–260-pascal pressure inside the vehicle relative to the exterior by pumping purified air inside. The release valve located on the vehicle is opened with a pressure of approximately 200 pascal, and keeps the internal pressure under control by expelling a portion of the compressed air inside the vehicle. These valves operate in a fully mechanical manner without any electronic components.

The mask-type systems of the MARS product group have significant capabilities. Featuring a wide viewing angle and anti-fogging glass, these masks can be readily connected to the vehicle’s intercom system. Moreover, using a special apparatus, personnel can also drink water while wearing the mask.

 

Electronic control unit

Electronic control unit

Capabilities of the Control Unit

In addition to filters, MARS systems contain two other important components, being the control units and sensors.

The control units can operate in either analogue or electronic modes. Aside from switching the filtering system on and off, the analogue control units also measure the positive pressure difference inside the vehicle and report it to the user. The system also issues alarms in the event of malfunctioning or incorrectly fitted filters.

In addition to these functions, the electronic control unit also issues an alarm if the positive pressure inside cannot be achieved due to a vehicle door or hatch being open. The system also monitors the operating time of the filters, as well as their extent of use or saturation. Should the user wish to use one filter for a maximum of one hour for safety reasons, the system will sound an alarm at the end of this predefined period. Similarly, the systems also gives off an alarm if it becomes clogged through overuse.Resim4

 

As with the other products produced by Nero Industries, the MARS’ electronic control unit also features a CAN-Bus output that allows the unit to communicate with other systems aboard the vehicle. The MARS systems’ control unit identifies malfunctioning equipment, such as the air conditioner and fan within the system, and issues a warning to personnel.

MARS systems can also be integrated with an air conditioning system, in line with user requirements, which allows the delivery of filtered air at the desired temperature inside the vehicle. MARS systems can also be connected to the vehicle’s own air conditioning system, thereby enabling the product to also control the air conditioning in the vehicle.

 

Components in the MARS product family

Components in the MARS product family

Sensors Detect All Types of CBRN Threats

MARS systems feature five different detector solutions, including the BOREAS Meteorological Station, a Pocket Type Dosimeter, a Radiation Detector, a Portable Gamma Ray Detector and a CBRN Detection System.

Among these, the BOREAS functions as a small meteorological station that can monitor atmospheric events, and that can predict the spread of a possible CBRN attack under the current weather conditions. The Pocket Type Dosimeter serves to measure gamma and X-ray radiation, and can be carried by personnel owing to its 140-gram weight. The Radiation Detector weighs two kilograms, and is used principally within vehicles to show the direction of the radiation source with a certain level of sensitivity. The Portable Gamma Ray Detector detects gamma rays with intensity in a range of 0.1–20 Sievert/h.

As the latest product of Nero Industries in this particular field, the CBRN Detection System is a compact solution that can detect biological and radiological threats through its internal sensors. The user can also attach different gas detectors to the six ports found on the device, giving it the ability to identify also chemical threats.

mars cbrn

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