Project turns to sensors in sewers to catch bomb-makers

Nov 03, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —A European research group has an answer for catching people who aim to make explosive devices at home. Waste products that go down the drain deliver clues. Sensors that can identify these ingredients and sound an alarm are the solution, Bomb-making residue in city sewers may be an important signal for finding bomb-makers out, thanks to special sensors placed in sewers. A project called EMPHASIS aims to do just that. Emphasis is an EU-funded project of team members who are working on a method of sniffing out home-made bomb setups through chemical sensors placed in city sewer systems. Under the scenario, if the sensors do find traces of explosives, an alarm is sounded, and a special police team swings into action with a with a high resolution sensing unit, conducting a search to pinpoint the site.

The are designed to pick up signs of the precursors of dangerous , such as reagents and reaction-breakdown products.

The concept targets those who try to make explosive devices with use of their private kitchens or bathrooms, where ingredients dumped down the drains through toilets, sinks, and tubs leak into the sewers. Substances of a threatening nature, once detected, become registered information sent to a command center.

This concept is being explored in an EU-funded project called Emphasis. According to its project page, its reason for being is the detection of production of explosives. Nine project partners are carrying out work for such a system, The name Emphasis stands for Explosive Material Production Hidden Agile Search and Intelligence System, which further explains its mission. That mission is to test a system concept for the purpose of detecting the illicit production of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in urban areas.

Hans Önnerud, a research scientist, is the project manager. Onnerud is with the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) in Sweden, one of Europe's research institutes for defense and security. According to a report on Friday in New Scientist, an Emphasis project presentation was delivered at last month's International Symposium on the Analysis and Detection of Explosives (ISADE) in The Netherlands, where Onnerud's team said their tests in the lab were successful. The Emphasis sensors were developed and tested on faeces-rich wastewater in the lab and will be tested in sewers next year.

Last year, FOI exhibited five projects that FOI was coordinating relating to preventing the manufacture of home made bombs, the location of bomb factories, the neutralization of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the development of new methods for a forensic analysis of a bombing scene, at the trade fair Security Essen, in Germany. A bomb sniffer sensor was one of the projects showcased as well as a biodetector based on honey bees for the detection of explosives.

Explore further: Using sound waves for bomb detection

More information: www.newscientist.com/article/m… bombs-and-drugs.html

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User comments : 8

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tscati
1 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2013
Bit of a blunt weapon - surely it would be more effective to install the sensors in every building and cameras and sniffers in every room?
FMA
1 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2013
The concept is not new, few years ago an article here propose the similar method to catch the drug dealers.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.9 / 5 (9) Nov 03, 2013
Explosives residue as well as illegal drugs. Are euros content with govts spying on their pee as well as their emails and web browsings and their traveling about with cameras on every corner with face recognition and license plate readers? GPS?
Benni
1.3 / 5 (14) Nov 03, 2013
Now that they know, the bomb makers will begin using more rural locations which only have septic systems located in farming areas where the agricultural residue is similar to bomb making residue.
Shootist
1.3 / 5 (14) Nov 03, 2013
Project turns to sensors in sewers to catch bomb-makers


Hell, it's just Europe. Put cameras inside every space large enough for a child. Bedrooms, bathrooms, sewers, tubes (subways), tops of buildings, bottoms of building, inside of buildings, outside of building.

Make everyone wear GPS at all times and force all subjects to ask permission from EU traffic conttrol before being allowed to move more than 3 meters in any direction.

Ban clothing so no one can hide anything in their knickers.

Bow to all government burearcrats in as obsequious a manner as possible. All government deprecations are to be met with a smile on the Subject's face or they shall be disappeared, or better yet, exterminated.
VENDItardE
1 / 5 (14) Nov 03, 2013
safety must be had at ALL COSTS.......just lock everyone up
Humpty
1.4 / 5 (14) Nov 03, 2013
Hmmmmmmmmm yes there is SOME merrit to this...

But it's all getting a little bit insane.....

So many hundreds of millions of people.

So many millions of kilometers of sewer pipes..

So very, very few bombs being made.....
goracle
1 / 5 (10) Nov 04, 2013
safety must be had at ALL COSTS.......just lock everyone up

Getting lonely in there?