Acous­tic de­tec­tion iden­ti­fies IEDs

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY -

Anew acous­tic de­tec­tion sys­tem, con­sist­ing of a phased acous­tic ar­ray that fo­cuses an in­tense sonic beam at a sus­pected im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice, can de­ter­mine the dif­fer­ence be­tween those that con­tain low-yield and high-yield ex­plo­sives. re­mote acous­tic de­tec­tion sys­tem de­signed to iden­tify home­made bombs can de­ter­mine the dif­fer­ence be­tween those that con­tain low-yield and high-yield ex­plo­sives.

That ca­pa­bil­ity, never be­fore re­ported in a re­mote bomb de­tec­tion sys­tem, was de­scribed in a pa­per by Van­der­bilt engi­neer Dou­glas Adams pre­sented at the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Me­chan­i­cal Engi­neers Dy­namic Sys­tems and Con­trol Con­fer­ence on Oc­to­ber 23, in Stan­ford, Cal­i­for­nia.

A Van­der­bilt Univer­sity re­lease re­ports that a num­ber of dif­fer­ent tools are cur­rently used for ex­plo­sives de­tec­tion. Th­ese range from dogs and hon­ey­bees to mass spec­trom­e­try, gas chro­matog­ra­phy, and spe­cially de­signed X-ray ma­chines.

“Ex­ist­ing meth­ods re­quire you to get quite close to the sus­pi­cious ob­ject,” said Adams, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Civil and En­vi­ron­men­tal Engineering. “The idea be­hind our project is to de­velop a sys­tem that will work from a dis­tance to pro­vide an ad­di­tional de­gree of safety.”

The new sys­tem con­sists of a phased acous­tic ar­ray that fo­cuses an in­tense sonic beam at a sus­pected im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice. At the same time, an in­stru­ment called a laser vi­brom­e­ter is aimed at the ob­ject’s cas­ing and records how the cas­ing is vi­brat­ing in re­sponse. The na­ture of the vi­bra­tions can re­veal a great deal about what is in­side the con­tainer. and Gen­darmerie as well as by Scot­land Yard and the FBI. It has led to a pub­li­ca­tion in Foren­sic Sci­ence In­ter­na­tional and a patent has been filed.

ACNRS re­lease re­ports that sci­en­tific po­lice can find it dif­fi­cult, how­ever, to make use of such fin­ger­prints when they are too light or their con­trast is too low. When some­one places their fin­ger on an ob­ject, they leave be­hind a trace com­posed of wa­ter, salts, fats, amino acids and, po­ten­tially, DNA. To re­veal this la­tent trace, the most widely em­ployed tech­nique is fum­ing of a cyanoacry­late com­pound, bet­ter known as “Su­per Glue.” This re­acts with the el­e­ments present in the fin­ger­print and poly­merises, leav­ing a white de­posit that tech­ni­cians can then pho­to­graph and an­a­lyse. This tech­nique, how­ever, can at times en­tail cer­tain dif­fi­cul­ties. For ex­am­ple, when the fin­ger­print sup­port is of light colour, the con­trast with the fin­ger­print is too low to be pho­tographed. Sim­i­larly, if the fin­ger­print is very light, the de­posit will be too ten­u­ous to ob­tain an ex­ploitable im­age.

The re­lease notes that Lu­mi­cyano of­fers ex­cel­lent de­tec­tion per­for­mance. In ad­di­tion, it re­duces costs and treat­ment times. Another ad­van­tage is that it does not de­stroy the DNA that can some­times be ex­tracted from fin­ger­prints. Its op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency has been suc­cess­fully tested and val­i­dated, not just by the French Po­lice and Gen­darmerie but also by sev­eral other po­lice forces through­out the world such as Scot­land Yard and the FBI.

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