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New Chemical Sensor Makes Finding Landmines and Buried IEDs Easier

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posted on Aug, 3 2012 @ 04:25 AM
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www.sciencedaily.com...


A chemical sensing system developed by engineers at the University of Connecticut is believed to be the first of its kind capable of detecting vapors from buried landmines and other explosive devices with the naked eye rather than advanced scientific instrumentation.



The key to the system is a fluorescent nanofiberous film that can detect ultra-trace levels of explosive vapors and buried explosives when applied to an area where explosives are suspected. A chemical reaction marking the location of the explosive device occurs when the film is exposed to handheld ultraviolet light.





The system can detect nitroaromatics such as those found in TNT and 2,4-DNT (the military's primary explosive and the principle components in landmines) as well as the elements used in harder to detect plastic explosives such as HMX, RDX, Tetryl, and PETN. The ultra-sensitive system can detect elements at levels as low as 10 parts per billion (TNT), 74 parts per trillion (Tetryl), 5 ppt (RDX), 7 ppt (PETN) and 0.1 ppt (HMX) released from one billionth of a gram of explosive residue.


I found this pretty interesting. From what I understand on how this technology is used, it seems to me the film is laid out over an area, and picks up the vapors from explosives.

Could this technology be the end of landmines and IEDs at the moment? Thinking ahead a few years if this tech advances, what if an airplane or helicopter could drop some type of this "film" over a large area and then instantly map out the mines/IEDs for the people on the ground? Or, what if this tech is digitalized and instead of using a "film", a laser (for example) could scan the area for the explosives?
edit on 3-8-2012 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 3 2012 @ 06:09 AM
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It might have a use in mine detection. In fact it does look promising, but I don't think it will play a role in IED detection. From the article it sounds like this tool can only be practically utilized in a permissive environment.

And the IEDs in Afghanistan tend to use Ammonium Nitrate based main charges.



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