The LGM-30 Minuteman missile is the only current land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system in the US arsenal. Overseen by the Air Force Global Strike Command, this missile system has been in use since 1962. It was developed to rely on a solid fuel cell so it could remain dormant while being fully fueled. This allowed the missiles to be ready on a moment’s notice by eliminating the fueling time. During the nuclear arms race and subsequent cold war, the US stock of these missiles topped out at 1,000 land-based installations. In 1970, Minuteman III was implemented to replace the existing Minuteman II systems. These ICBM systems are the design that is used today in all of the 450 remaining land-based sites.
In 2009, a DOD contract in support of the United States Air Force was issued to upgrade the security systems that surround each ICBM silo. At that time, the security system at each site used proximity sensors that alarmed when anyone or anything was too close to the perimeter fence. Each time the alarm was triggered, a team was deployed via helicopter from the closest Air Force Base to the ICBM site to investigate. These deployments were very costly and often unnecessary as the alarms could be triggered by animals, brush, or wind-blown debris. The new security system needed to use upgraded proximity sensors coupled with an advanced camera system. This new equipment was designed to limit the number of deployments and drive down the operating costs of the sites while also providing a more secure perimeter at each installation.
The contractor who was awarded the DOD contract contacted EIC to develop the camera and equipment housing. One of the primary issues they were looking to overcome was to securely house and protect the system while keeping it thermally stable. Since the installations are located across South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, the climate can experience both extreme highs and lows. EIC’s ThermoTECtm 145 Series Thermoelectric Air Conditioner offered the perfect solution due to its compact, maintenance-free design. These specialized coolers included:
EIC also developed a completely custom Protectortm Series Air-Conditioned Enclosure for this very important project. It had to be robust enough to protect the sensitive equipment in extreme weather conditions while also being compact enough to be mounted at the top of an 80 ft. pole. The custom enclosure included:
This security system was implemented at all 450 land-based ICBM sites over the course of 2009-2012. Through the use of this customized design, the DOD successfully reduced its operating costs of these sites while simultaneously increasing the security of these sensitive military installations. EIC’s custom thermoelectrically-cooled enclosures were a central part of the security solution that currently monitors one of United States’ most import land-based defense systems. The US Department of Defense trusts EIC Solutions’ products to protect their most valuable assets. Contact one of EIC’s knowledgeable sales engineers today for a complete review of your application.
EIC Solutions, Inc. specializes in the design and manufacturing of thermoelectric cooling systems, air conditioned electronic enclosures, and transit cases for a Solution range of industries. Our products have been used in a variety of enclosure cooling applications involving the protection of electronic equipment both indoors and outdoors. EIC Solutions strives to provide the best products, resources, and tools to help customers protect investments in sensitive electronics. If you have questions regarding any of our products please contact us at 800-497-4524.