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TMCNet:  Detecting Explosives and Chemicals with Infrared Technology

[March 15, 2014]

Detecting Explosives and Chemicals with Infrared Technology

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SALISBURY, England, March 12 - The British Ministry of Defence's Science and Technology Laboratory issued the following news release: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is collaborating with industry and academic partners to develop an infrared detector technology that holds promise for both commercial and security applications.


The new design of infrared detectors, which currently operate in the 2-3 micron band, will support stand-off detection of explosives and chemical agents.

Amethyst Research (UK), a small company based in Glasgow, was successfully funded under a call for proposals by Dstl's Centre for Defence Enterprise, which funds research into novel, high-risk, high - potential benefit innovations. Dstl then introduced Amethyst to Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company and manufacturer of high performance thermal imagers. The companies developed a plan to exploit Amethyst's proprietary detector technology and Selex's expertise in camera read - out circuitry, allowing a rapid benchmark of the new technology against current state of the art technology.

Within four months, the programme demonstrated significant advantages over current products, and a credible supply chain for its manufacture and distribution was established within the UK.

Amethyst is now partnering with Lancaster University, CS T in Scotland and IQE in Wales to consider how to take the novel detector technology to the next level of refinement and production, with a view ultimately of commercial exploitation that will support defence requirements.

Dstl Fellow Ken McEwan said "This project is an excellent case study in harnessing technology across a range of organisations for the UK's commercial and economic benefit. Dstl has acted as coordinator and expert adviser to assist Amethyst in taking its proprietary technology through va rious stages towards commercial exploitation. As other international parties move into this space, the work performed in collaboration with Amethyst will protect the UK's leading capability in infrared electro-optic sensors and systems".

Amethyst's CEO, Terry Golding says "This program has been vital to allowing us to effectively develop this platform technology, establish key partnerships and stress test the UK supply chain. Dstl has been extremely agile and strategic to work with. This has allowed us as to move quickly and position ourselves optimally for commercial development of this vitally important technology." The Centre for Defence Enterprise is currently running another competition for funding on the theme of novel electro-optic and infrared technology. Up to Pounds600k is available for proof-of-concept research projects. Bids must be submitted via the CDE online Portal by 17:00 hrs on Thursday 8 May 2014. For further information see: www.science.mod.uk.

TNS 18EstebanLiz-140315-30FurigayJane-4668875 30FurigayJane (c) 2014 Targeted News Service

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