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PLUTO off the coast of San Diego (Image: Paul Wedig, DHS S&T)

When someone mentions drug running, most people probably picture a person coming through an airport carrying a suitcase with a false bottom or with balloons stuffed up their nether regions. We don’t usually imagine things like submarines. Unfortunately, the South American drug cartels not only imagine them, but they build and operate them. To help combat these underwater smugglers, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S and T) is operating their own drug-running submarine called PLUTO to develop and test a new generation of detection equipment.  Read More

Some brightly outlined lettering and a surprise audio message attempt to bring the 'don't ...

The United States celebrated its independence yesterday, and one state turned to a unique tactic for fighting the drunk driving that unfortunately goes hand in hand with major holidays. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning has teamed up with the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association toward putting talking urinal cakes into restaurants and bars throughout several counties in the state. The electronic sanitary discs provide an on-the-spot reminder not to drive after drinking, using both written and motion-activated audio messages.  Read More

Aside from state-of-the-art graphics, the Unreal Engine 3 already has a plethora of progra...

Video game developer, Epic Games, is known for giving players realistic experiences thanks to its popular Unreal Engine platform. But while games like Batman: Arkham City and Gears of War are certainly entertaining, virtually beating up thugs and fighting subterranean creatures doesn't exactly translate into real world skills. However a new agreement with teaching software developer, Virtual Heroes, could see Epic's platform used to create more practical experiences and train medical staff and law enforcement officers to handle high-stress situations. By using Epic's Unreal Engine 3, some United States government agencies like the FBI and US Army are hoping to give their employees tools for virtually practicing their skills in a more realistic environment and better prepare them to save lives.  Read More

Traditional U.S. Military body armor by The U.S. Army via Flickr

Insurgents are commonly taught to aim just below a soldier's body armor, which is where the abdominal area meets the legs. When a bullet hits this area it causes massive internal bleeding which often proves fatal in a matter of minutes. Two physicians specializing in emergency medicine have now developed a tool designed to treat rapid lethal war injuries. The device, which is known as the abdominal aortic tourniquet effectively slows bleeding and gives much needed time to stop the flow of blood which could save a soldier's life.  Read More

The IMPACT Ballistic Clipboard is a bulletproof clipboard, designed for police use

Although police officers in most countries are issued bulletproof vests, they don’t necessarily wear them at all times – would you want to heave one of those things around for an entire shift? What they do often carry, however, are clipboards. Taking the “every little bit helps” approach, Ohio’s IMPACT Armor Technologies has put two and two together, and come up with something that should actually offer some protection – a Ballistic Clipboard.  Read More

The BodyGuard is a hands-free stun device that could soon be on the arms of police

Crime fighters may soon be adding another tool to their arsenal - one that is literally designed to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers. With an integrated taser, video camera and protective forearm armor, the BodyGuard is a stun device that wouldn't be out of place on the forearm of a certain caped crusader in Gotham City. BodyGuard has already been used in Mock Prison Riots in West Virginia and is headed to real world city streets with testing and evaluation of the device due to commence in Los Angeles later this year.  Read More

The Cougar20-H surveillance robot

The Cougar20-H is a remote-controlled surveillance robot that is so sensitive it can not only detect motion through walls but, to ensure no one goes unnoticed, it can also detect the breathing of a stationary person. Packing a fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array as well as multiple integrated cameras for day and night time visibility, the Cougar20-H was designed by surveillance imaging specialist TiaLinx to provide improved situational awareness to soldiers while keeping them out of harm’s way.  Read More

Airman 1st Class Patrick Connolly of Dayton, Ohio, demonstrates the placement of the water...

According to the Pentagon, improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are the number one killer and threat to troops in Afghanistan. Now a new tool that shoots a blade of water capable of penetrating steel is headed to U.S. troops in Afghanistan to help them disable these deadly devices. Developed by Sandia National Laboratories researchers, the fluid blade disablement tool produces a high-speed, precise water blade to perform some precision type destruction on whatever IED it’s up against.  Read More

Motorola's new Bluetooth earpiece designed for secure communications

Motorola has launched three new "mission critical" communications devices aimed at law enforcement and first responder applications. The MVX1000 in-car digital video system and APX P25 two-way radio series are joined by the company's first encrypted Bluetooth earpiece designed for secure communications.  Read More

NIST chemists Thomas J. Bruno and Tara M. Lovestead

You probably don't go hunting for decaying bodies too often, but then you probably don’t work in the field of forensics. If you did, then you’d be glad to hear that technology recently developed by America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) should make finding buried bodies much easier. Traditionally, cadaver-sniffing dogs have been used to find bodies, but they can be limited in situations such as where a body is buried under concrete. The new device, however, uses a probe slightly thicker than a human hair to probe the soil, detecting ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen (NRN) that collects in air pockets around gravesoil. Previous technology could only achieve that same end through what NIST describes as “the tedious and expensive process” of solvent extraction of soil samples.  Read More

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