In response to security concerns surrounding US military Joint Security Stations (JSSs) in urban Iraq, the US Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) Director approached his contracted Exponent engineering team in Baghdad to design a perimeter security, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system that would be a deployable, warfighter-installable, camera-based system suitable for all the JSS sites in existence and those planned for the future.
At the time, Exponent had a long-standing relationship with the US Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF). Exponent consultants were on the ground in Iraq, working alongside their REF counterparts to devise stopgap technology measures that would combat the emergent insurgent threat. In this particular request for close-in surveillance, Exponent was tasked with meeting urgent demand for such a capability at initially over 300 sites. Accordingly, emphasis was placed on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) componentry as a low-cost, rapid-acquisition approach.
Exponent succeeded in providing a design consistent with the urgent demand and low-cost requirement. The Rapid Deployment Integrated Surveillance System (RDISS) included (8) fixed Ethernet cameras Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) allowing for a single cable hook-up; two pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras with built-in IR illumination; a central monitoring station with custom software interface; power conditioning and management; and interfaces for future sensors system additions. The first RDISS system was installed by Exponent at a JSS in Baghdad just two and half weeks after the initial request. Ultimately Exponent delivered over 500 RDISS systems for a variety of US Army customers. In the process Exponent designed facilities and designated personnel to build, test, ship, and support RDISS systems and associated spare parts. Exponent conducted multiple training academies both in the US and overseas on behalf of the REF, trained new field service representatives from other companies on maintenance, mission preparation, and troubleshooting, and created a web site for soldiers to use for support. Exponent leveraged a vast network of vendors, machine shops, and other small businesses to manage risk of production and worked closely on these relationships to ensure that best price and speediest delivery were achieved.