Detection - nuclear, biological, chemical

  • Threat reductionSandia Lab leading multidisciplinary effort to counter WMD

    Threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction do not seem as imminent today as they did after the 9/11 attacks, but Jill Hruby, vice president of International, Homeland, and Nuclear Security at Sandia Labs, says that scientists, industry, and universities working on technological solutions to national security challenges must anticipate what could come next. Speaking at AAAS annual meeting, Hruby said that in an environment of lower public interest — due, in part, to the success of early efforts to combat terrorism that resulted in fewer major incidents in recent years — continued collaboration between national security laboratories, academia, and industry is needed.

  • DetectionVideo imaging system for remote detection of hidden threats

    By adapting superconducting technology used in advanced telescope cameras, researchers have built a prototype video imaging system for detecting hidden weapons and other threats at distances up to twenty-eight meters away.

  • DetectionNew spectrometry standard for handheld chemical detectors

    When it comes to detectors for dangerous chemicals, toxins, or nefarious germs, smaller and faster is better. Size and speed, however, must still allow for accuracy, especially when measurements by different instruments must give the same result. The recent publication of a new standard provides confidence that results from handheld chemical detectors can be compared, apples-to-apples.

  • In the trenchesSqueezing light improves performance of MEMS sensors

    Microelectromechanical systems, known as MEMS, are ubiquitous in modern military systems such as gyroscopes for navigation, tiny microphones for lightweight radios, and medical biosensors for assessing the wounded. Such applications benefit from the portability, low power, and low cost of MEMS devices. The use of MEMS sensors is now commonplace, but they still operate many orders of magnitude below their theoretical performance limits, due to two obstacles: thermal fluctuations and random quantum fluctuations, a barrier known as the standard quantum limit.

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  • DetectionCompact, high-power terahertz source at room temperature developed

    Terahertz (THz) radiation — radiation in the wavelength range of 30 to 300 microns — is gaining attention due to its applications in security screening, medical and industrial imaging, agricultural inspection, astronomical research, and other areas. Traditional methods of generating terahertz radiation usually involve large and expensive instruments, some of which also require cryogenic cooling. Researchers have developed a compact, room-temperature terahertz source with an output power of 215 microwatts.

  • DHSThe side of Homeland Security you won't see on TV

    By Louise Lerner

    The way the Department of Homeland Security is often portrayed in popular culture — surveillance and secret agents — leaves out a crucial aspect of its role. It also works on technology to detect attacks as they are happening, and helps federal and local governments prepare for all kinds of disasters, from hurricanes to accidental chemical spills to anthrax attacks. Argonne Laboratory engineers contribute to this effort, helping local and state governments form emergency plans, run drills for a pandemic flu outbreak in the city of Chicago, and analyzed ways to enhance security at plants and factories across the country.

  • DetectionSmartphone “microscope” can detect a single virus, nanoparticles

    Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. Researchers have created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. The device weighs less than half a pound.

  • First responseU.S. military trains to support civil authorities during domestic CBRN incident

    Vibrant Response 13-2 exercise, conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), is an annual event and is the country’s largest CBRN exercise. The training exercise is used to evaluate a military unit’s operational and tactical ability to support civil authorities during domestic incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons.

  • DetectionMolecule “scanner” uses terahertz radiation to identify single molecules

    Molecules could soon be “scanned” in a fashion similar to imaging screenings at airports, thanks to the world’s smallest terahertz detector, developed by University of Pittsburgh physicists. The scanner has the ability chemically to identify single molecules using terahertz radiation — a range of light far below what the eye can detect.

  • CBRNEApproaches to international consequence management for CBRNE incidents

    The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, through a grant sponsored by NIST’s Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES), is organizing an effort to understand the metrics and measures that are needed to develop standards of response that will support the basic capabilities of a country or region to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) incident

  • DetectionGreen laser pointer identifies traces of dangerous chemicals in real time

    By using an ordinary green laser pointer, the kind commonly found in offices and college lecture halls, an Israeli research team has developed a new and portable Raman spectrometer which can detect minute traces of hazardous chemicals in real time; the new sensor’s compact design makes it a candidate for rapid field deployment to disaster zones and areas with security concerns

  • Port securityLong Beach Police Department purchases underwater inspection system for port

    The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States and is a major gateway for trade with Asia, handling more than six million containers annually; to enhance port security, the City of Long Beach Police Department has purchased an Underwater Inspection System (UIS) from Cod Octopus

     

  • First-response gearImmediate, in-the-field identification of hazardous materials

    Soldiers in war zones, and law enforcement and first responders on the scene will soon have the ability to collect and immediately analyze trace amounts of potentially dangerous chemical, explosive, or biological agents with the help of a surface swabbing device developed and prototyped by a Maine-based technology company with the help of the University of Maine researchers

  • ResilienceImproved disaster resilience is imperative for U.S: report

    A new report from the National Academies says that it is essential for the United States to bolster resilience to natural and human-caused disasters, and that this will require complementary federal policies and locally driven actions that center on a national vision – a culture of resilience; improving resilience should be seen as a long-term process, but it can be coordinated around measurable short-term goals that will allow communities better to prepare and plan for, withstand, recover from, and adapt to adverse events

  • General Dynamics to integrate CBRN device in Army radios

    General Dynamics C4 Systems announced last week that it will work with U.S. Army researchers to install wireless-networking chips on radios that can also detect the presence of dangerous chemicals on the battlefield