Planned U.S. sensor network targets terror threats

July 21, 2003 | Source: EE Times

Government researchers are developing a nationwide sensor network that someday could provide a real-time early-warning system for a wide array of chemical, biological and nuclear threats across the United States.

Sensors will use hybrid sensors, MEMS and nanotechnology linked by an Internet-like peer-to-peer network.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers are developing nanosize preconcentrators for nerve agents, botulism and other toxins.

Sandia is developing a sensor that could detect chemicals such as nerve and blister agents as well as some top-priority industrial toxins. The sensor would use polymer- or gel-coated silicon devices to trap targeted chemicals, then send the agents through fluidic channels to on-chip arrays of surface-acoustic-wave detectors.