Detecting Explosives with Light

Posted by: on May 15, 2014 | No Comments

Research from the University of Adelaide has created a sensor that can detect tiny quantities of explosives with the use of light and special glass fibers. This fibre sensor can detect explosives in concentrations as low as 6.3 ppm (parts per million). Its analysis time are only a few minutes. Traditionally explosives detection has involved looking for metals that encase them such as in land mines. But today explosive devices will often have no metal in them so we need to be able to detect the explosive material itself. It uses a plastic material that emits red light when illuminated with green laser light, and the amount of red light it emits is reduced by the presence of explosives. It also has high sensitivity and it can detect tiny quantities of an explosive. This can also be used to quantify the amount of explosive by looking at how the light emission changes over time. This type of technology could help greatly in the fight against terrorism.


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Source: Science Daily

[Abstract written by Alicia Terrell, ForensIQ Intern, 051514]

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