Aviation and military installation security, chemical/biological agent detection, and counter-terrorist activities are leading national priorities. The technologies presently deployed do not provide a fast, cost effective and reliable detection system. Even the newest equipment suffers from high false alarm rates. A new generation of detection and security technology needs to be developed and deployed. No single detector technology has the capability of attaining a good detection rate with low false signals for all types of energetic, chemical, biological and hazardous materials in different environments. Therefore, there is a compelling and urgent need for developing an integrated detection system employing multiple detectors of different types.
Integrated detection of hazardous materials (IDHM) is a major concern in today ís terrorist focused and post cold war environment. IDHM is a critical element when addressing the risk associated with these potential urban terrorist threats. A dedicated research, testing and training program for these technologies has been initiated recently at Purdue. This IDHM program is a cooperative project involving DOD and academic institutions producing obvious benefits for both military and civilian systems. The objective is to develop a deployable detection system integrating multiple detection technologies by utilizing cutting-edge computational framework, data fusion, and sensor response integration. The intent is to assure that the United States improves its current energetic, chemical, biological and hazardous materials detection capabilities and is prepared to meet future detection requirements.
This IDHM program has created an integrated multidisciplinary science and engineering team at Purdue that will carry out a comprehensive research, testing and training effort directed toward the development of cost effective, highly reliable, computer integrated detection systems. Research will be conducted in areas related to the development of advanced technologies for the detection threats such as explosives, chemical and biological agents, and hazardous chemicals. Application assessment will be conducted by Naval Surface Warfare Center,Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in Indiana, the Navy's Chemical and Biological In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA). NSWC Crane possesses a high level of expertise in chemical and biological detection and multi-sensor systems. Research will be carried in areas of (1) ion trap research, (2) electromagnetic detection, (3) neutron-based detection, (4) micro-sensors, (5) membrance separator methodologies,(6) integrated electronic microscale chemical and biological sensors,(7) biochemical terahertz identification, (8) biochemical nano-sensors,and (9) intelligent integration of detection systems involving two or three of (1) - (8). Projects (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), (7) and(8) will develop next generation and/or improvement of chemical and biological warfare agent point detection and monitoring systems,and project (3) will develop next generation and/or improvement of neutron-based detection systems for chemical agents. Application,manufacturability, and related training will be integral objectives.
As a first step for establishing this project, an alliance has been formed consisting of member institutions (Purdue University, NSWC Crane, and NSWC Dahlgren). Purdue University will act as the performing institution and NSWC Crane will integrate the alliance member institutions. NSWC Crane and NSWC Dahlgren will provide evaluation and feedback as necessary as well as a focus on military applications. Currently, the IDHM program is supported by DOD with a contract for approximately $6.8M for a two-year period starting September 1, 2000.
In summary, it is clear that IDHM will be an area of increased national need and interest in research, education, and in technology transfer with industry. Purdue is uniquely poised to rise to that challenge, both with its history of sensing research and education, and with its current faculty and resources. Having a formal Purdue University Center dedicated to this area will allow researchers at Purdue to further build and maintain a highly-visible presence in this topic area, and to provide a focus for students, faculty, and outside researchers to interact.