Terrorism in IraqEST to test zNose technology in Iraq

Published 10 October 2006

After testing in a simulated Iraqi village, the explosives detection system is ready to be used for checkpoint inspections and for “interrogating buildings” for bomb materials; wartime appplication just one for this versatile technology

One of our favorite companies, Electronic Sensor Technologies (EST), is pressing forward with its campaign to introduce its zNose chemical detection systems across a wide range of application. We have previously reported on the technology’s ability to detect liquid explosives, test fish ponds for chemicals associated with algae overgrowth, and ascertain the water contamination effects of a chemical plant explosion. Now we hear the company has completed the second phase of a three-stage program to adapt the zNose for anti-improvised explosive device (IED) purposes in Iraq. The company believes the zNose will assist both with checkpoint inspections and with inspecting structures for explosive componants — “interrogating buildings,” as company spokesman Frank Zuhde puts it.

After a first stage of clasroom instruction with the Marines, and the now-completed second stage of testing at a simulated Iraqi village, a third phase of live testing in Iraq will commence soon. The project is just one of many instigated by the Joint IED Task Force, a multi-billion dollar interservice effort to combat the growing threat of IEDs to troops in Iraq. In addition to bomb detection equipment, the task force is also spending heavily — $378 million at last count — on “jammers” to distrupt the radio signals often used by terrorists to detonate the roadside bombs. In 2005, the task force reported some success: 30 to 40 percent of IEDs are found and rendered safe before they are able to be detonated.

-read more in this company news release; company Web site; read more about the Joint IED Task Force in this Global Security report