Army Invests in ChemImage’s Explosive Detection Technology

by: Matthew Potter
March 1, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, General Dynamics, S&T, Services, U.S. Army, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security | RSS 2.0

The U.S. military and Homeland Security Department are faced with a mission to detect and neutralize a variety of threats. These include Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and mines on the battlefield as well as bombs and other threats used by terrorists. Over the last twenty years the Defense Department and now Homeland Security have invested research into different technology to identify these threats preferably from a distance.

ChemImage is a company that has developed a series of devices that uses molecular spectroscopy and digital imaging to analyze materials from a distance and identify if they are explosive, chemical or biological threats. Obviously this is of use on today’s battlefield where soldiers will come across IED or what look like IED and must identify and neutralize them. The safer the distance that this is possible the better.

The Army just awarded ChemImage a contract worth about $17 million to implement a real time sensor for use in the field. The company is teamed with General Dynamics (GD) to do this work.

Even though the U.S. is leaving Iraq and planning to do the same with Afghanistan there will still be a need for this technology. The IED has become a primary threat on the contingency operation battlefield and terrorist groups will continue to develop and improve their bomb and Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) capability.

Despite the potential for reductions in the defense budget this kind of core technology research and development is also a key requirement for the U.S. as it needs to try and improve its capabilities overall. This is one area that requires continued investment.

Photo from isafmedia’s flickr photostream.

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