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Explosives

Science

Mobile detector sniffs out would-be suicide bombers

A beefed up security presence and metal detectors can go some way to protecting the public from the threat of suicide bombers, but they're still a tactic that is effectively deployed all too often. One entrepreneur is looking to help reveal such threats with a detector that scans subjects for shrapnel commonly used in suicide vests and explosives. Read More

Robotics

New sensor system enables robots to look inside luggage

Luggage lying around unattended at an airport justifiably triggers the jitters. The hazardous task of getting up close to inspect what could potentially be a bomb that could explode any time invariably falls to the bomb squad. Researchers have come up with a way to minimize the risk by creating a sophisticated, robot-mountable, sensor system that allows authorities to scan a piece of luggage and get an accurate image of its contents. The contact-free detection system could not only potentially help bomb specialists assess the danger quickly, but it could also help them obtain vital evidence.Read More

Electronics

GE RFID tech turns stickers into explosives detectors

A global economy brings many benefits, but it also makes international terrorism extremely difficult to combat. With more goods passing through the world's shipping terminals and airports than ever before, hunting explosives with large, static detectors or teams of inspectors armed with detecting devices and reagents is a bottleneck that increases the chances of evasion. To help US counterterrorism efforts, GE has developed RFID stickers that act as wireless, battery-free explosives detectors that can be placed almost anywhere. Read More

Science

Carbon nanotubes could find use in improved bomb detection device

Along with flame-retardant clothing, flexible supercapitors and a stronger alternative to carbon fiber, carbon nanotubes may soon have yet another application. Led by Prof. Ling Zang, a team of researchers at the University of Utah has integrated the tiny tubes of carbon atoms into a prototype explosives sensor. It can also detect illegal drugs and toxic chemicals such as nerve gas, reportedly doing so better than currently-used technologies. Read More

Good Thinking

Fighting fire with explosives

Building on a technique commonly used to extinguish oil well fires, Dr Graham Doig from the University of New South Wales' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is examining whether explosives could be used to fight out-of-control forest and bushfires by blasting the flames out of treetops, slowing the fire and making it easier to fight on the ground.Read More

Science

Sensors in sewers could locate bomb-makers

When people make improvised explosive devices (IEDs), many of the waste products end up simply going down the drain. With that in mind, the European Union-funded EMPHASIS consortium is now developing technology to track those chemicals within the waste stream, so that their point of origin can be located. Read More

Science

Glowing polymer detects explosives

Detecting bombs in places such as airports could be getting easier, thanks to a new fluorescing polymer. While you might expect the material to glow in the presence of explosives, they actually cause it to stop glowing. Read More

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