Lasers and video cameras detect explosives

JANUARY 16, 2009--A new device that can identify tiny amounts of explosive particles--invisible to the naked eye--on people, clothing, and luggage has been developed by Loughborough University engineers.

Jan 16th, 2009

JANUARY 16, 2009--A new device that can identify tiny amounts of explosive particles--invisible to the naked eye--on people, clothing, and luggage has been developed by Loughborough University engineers. The Explosive Residue Detection system can remotely scan crowded areas, such as airports and train stations, alerting an operator if it detects traces of explosives.

Developed by John Tyrer from the University's Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, along with colleagues from the Department of Chemistry, the device is currently undergoing field trials in secret locations across the UK. Explosive Residue Detection uses the latest generation ofpulsed lasers and video camera techniques.

The device combines them to produce a large-area, fluorescent, lifetime imaging system. By controlling the laser timing and optical filters, this allows direct imaging of explosive residue. Once the explosive residue is detected the system activates automatically and alerts an operator to a positive identification. It does not rely on people watching a TV screen and unlike sniffer dogs that operate by detecting particles present in the air, this system can be very specific and accurate. For more information, go to:http://www.lboro.ac.uk

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