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Lasers could 'sense' hidden explosives

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
UK scientists claim to have developed laser technology able to sense hidden explosives.

The technology could help to detect landmines and roadside bombs and to improve airport security.

The team from St Andrew's University produced a laser by "pumping" a type of plastic called polyfluorene with photons from another light source.

They found the laser reacted with vapours from explosives such as TNT.

The work was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Graham Turnbull, a physicist at the University of St Andrew's in Fife, UK, is one of the authors of the study.

He explained that the researchers created a mechanism able to sense TNT-like molecules frequently used in explosives at extremely low concentrations - less than 10 parts per billion.

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Sounds interesting, however, I still feel as if laser technology would trigger explosives rather than sense them. :ph34r:

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I was a demolition engineer in the Army. Most military explosives, including those used in C4 and landmines, you could toss on a fire and burn like wood. They need pressure and heat in order to detonate. You can smash C4 and you can burn C4, but you should not burn and smash C4. Most landmines, unless they are booby trapped (Which is a war crime BTW), take on the order of ten pounds (For anti-personel) to a thousand pounds (Anti-vehicular) to trigger the detonator. Many a child or dog could walk right over with no trouble.

They have been using IR to find mines and explosives since the First Gulf War. Lasers sounds like a very interesting new option. The laser apparently reacts to the off gasing of the explosive and trips a sensor that recieves the laser.

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