posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 08:51 PM
Detecting IEDs with technology is difficult.
I participated in a study evaluating different bomb detection methods, and none were truly satisfactory. Another problem with solutions like the one
proposed is that it assumes you've identified a potential IED. However, when IEDs can be hidden under newspapers, inside potholes, etc., you can
literally start to see IEDs everywhere. There was an interesting photo of an IED that was basically and artillery shell encased in concrete.
Currently, our best bet seems to be jamming the detonation methods. The preference is obviously wireless technology such as improvised cell phone
detonators(call to blow), and radio frequency systems. We can jam those signals which helps to some extent.
The kinds of units we need are systems like Sniffex(google it). We need small portable solutions that don't require a whole lot of processing power.
The most difficult part of the threat is that its very adaptable. You can easily make a large container of fuel an improvised incendiary device. Also,
in an IED threat scenario, the vehicle is moving directly AT the threat. You need enough detection range to identify the threat AND give the convoy
time to respond. You also need it to be directional once you get enough range or you've just got something that tells you there's a bomb a mile
away....could be to the side, could be to the front, not particularly useful if you don't know exactly where. Especially given the saturation of the
threat in Iraq...with RPG rounds stockpiled everywhere and bomb making shops hidden in houses.
It's an ugly situation.