Researchers are developing a portable sensor to detect hazardous biological materials more rapidly than current methods allow. The sensor has applications for government and private organizations and could be used to reduce the impact of biological weapons of mass destruction and to identify contaminants in health-related concerns.
Electronic bloodhounds that quickly and reliably detect dangerous substances in a closed environment will begin replacing current sensors in military facilities in the near future. The final elements of a program borne out of the need to defend warfighters against biological and chemical agents will enter the transition stage later this year. The goal is to expand protection to the rest of the military work force. This added security is part of a two-year effort to develop extremely fast and accurate sensors that are so cost-effective that they can be used on a large scale.
The U.S. Army is speeding next-generation imaging systems to the field in response to experiences gleaned in Afghanistan and Iraq. Adversaries waging asymmetric warfare have impelled the Army to improve existing technologies and to seek innovative new capabilities in the field of electro-optics.