FPED: Simple explosives detection kit, low-cost robot, hand-held detectorsHomeland1 takes a look at some of the emergency management products showcased at The Force Protection and Equipment Demonstration VIII
By Charles Pekow
Our fourth installment from the Force Protection and Equipment Demonstration VIII focuses on four more products showcased at the event. The outdoor three-day event at Stafford (Va.) Regional Airport in May turned out to be the biggest such since the first of the biennial FPEDs in 1997, which featured 187 vendors. That inaugural event was organized in response to the bombing of the Khobar Towers military housing complex in Saudi Arabia.
Simple kits to detect explosives
A few drops from a dropper or an aerosol spray can tell you if you're faced with an explosive and if so, which one, says the maker of Expray and DropEx kits. Different color patterns on test papers will tell you what kind of chemicals you're dealing with within five seconds. Chemicals can also detect drugs. Various kits can detect for polynitro-aromatics, inorganic nitrate compounds, peroxide-based improvised explosives and others. Each bottle/can provides 50–100 tests. Usable to confirm K-9 alerts, test for leftover residues and analyze explosions after the fact.
Contact: Mistral Security Inc., 800-964-7872, www.mistralgroup.com
Hand-held device detects radiation, nuclear threats
The new hand-held RadSeeker radioisotope identifier can detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats. It fits in the palm of the hand and does not require field calibration, the manufacturer says. It weighs less than five pounds, can survive a three-foot drop, operates in extreme temperatures and is water-resistant. The unit is 7 by 12 x 4.5 inches with small bumpers. Uses either lanthanum bromide (LaBr3) or 2-by-2-inch sodium iodide (NaI) detectors.
Contact: Smiths Detection, 800-297-0955, www.smithsdetection.com
Hand-held explosives detector promises instant results
Fido NEXT won't chew rawhide, but this latest version of a hand-held explosives detector promises to be the lightest, most compact and durable nose. Insert wiped paper, and it will tell you in 10 seconds whether you've got trouble, says the vendor. It won't, however, tell you what explosive you've encountered, but neither would most dogs. Encased in magnesium for dangerous and all weather situations. Can operate eight hours on a battery (depending on environment) and takes less than five minutes to warm up. Weighs 3 lbs. Novices can use it, and full training for all the tricks takes only a few hours.
Contact: FLIR, 877-692-2120, www.flir.com/detection
The new Scorpion robot lacks most of the gadgets its predecessors included, but also lacks most of the price. Mesa Technologies offers a new stripped-down robot that does what most users want for about $39,000, whereas previous versions cost up to $100,000. The basic system includes three cameras in front and one in back. An arm can shut off valves, and the tread will work in four to six inches of water. The rechargeable battery will run for 8-12 hours and takes two hours to recharge. Comes with six-month warranty.
Contact: Mesa Technologies Inc., 865-671-5400, www.mesatechnologies.com