Ways to detect, thwart terrorist acts scrutinized during ACS national meeting


WASHINGTON Detecting and identifying weapons of mass destruction is key to thwarting acts of terrorism. Researchers are scrambling to develop detection devices that quickly and accurately root out these weapons before they can be used. More than 40 presentations over five days will focus on the promise and challenges of these emerging technologies during the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society, in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28 Sept. 1. Highlights from the special symposium, "Sensors and Instrumentation for Counterterrorism," are listed below:

(All sessions are at the Washington Convention Center, Room 154A)

Sunday, Aug. 28

Early warning monitors could save lives Regional sensors that provide early warning signs of an impending chemical or nuclear terrorist attack could save countless lives. ADA Technologies and Clemson University are developing an easy-to-use, wireless sensor network that can be deployed throughout a city or region either permanently or for short periods. The sensors can detect nerve agents, assess radiation levels and monitor weather conditions. Information provided by the sensors could help law enforcement officers track down terrorists before they strike or help officials successfully conduct evacuations and clean-up if an attack occurs. Patrick French of ADA Technologies is the presenter. (ANYL 38, Sunday, Aug. 28, 4:35 p.m.)

Tuesday, Aug. 30

The challenge of detecting hidden explosives Uncovering concealed explosives in luggage, airplanes and on suicide bombers is a major challenge. In this overview, Jehuda Yinon of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel describes the pros and cons of current explosive detection devices and discusses technological advances


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