Homeland Security

Better Bomb Detection

April 1, 2006 By: Barbara G. Goode, Sensors Sensors

A $2.4 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract focuses on an improved system to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs). RF Monolithics Inc. is participating along with Nanotherapeutics Inc., which has patented a method of sensing trace amounts of certain non-nitrogen-based explosives. The method uses a portable, rapid gas chromatography system and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices to detect specific IED materials, such as triacetone-triperoxide (TATP), the material recently implicated in the London bombings. In addition to commercializing Nanotherapeutics' invention, RF Monolithics will add wireless mesh network capability to create field-deployable arrays. (www.rfm.com,

VIASPACE subsidiary Arroyo Sciences Inc. is targeting suicide bombers with a patent application for its DEEPSCAN technology. DEEPSCAN is being developed as a real-time scanning system for detecting camouflaged explosives from hundreds of feet away. It combines high-resolution, high-sensitivity, long-wavelength IR detectors with proprietary sensor data fusion technology to identify "features of interest" based on differential emissivity. The technology is also suitable for run-of-the-mill theft detection. (www.viaspace.com)

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