GE unveils battery-free threat detection device

Pictured is an example of a wireless, battery-free RFID sensor tag for detection of chemicals such as explosives and oxidizers at very low concentrations. These sensors could aid in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts by providing advanced chemical and explosi | Courtesy of GE

The Global Research Division of General Electric (GE) has developed a battery-free radio-frequency identification technology that has the potential to detect chemicals and other hazardous material, the company announced this month.
In partnership with the Technical Support Working Group, Quantum Magnetics and KemSENSE, GE has developed a battery-free sensor that is able to detect the presence of chemicals in small concentrations. Coated in material that reacts to dangerous oxidizers and potential explosives in the air, these tags are designed to alert personnel of cargo ships and ports to threats of this kind.
“GE’s sensors could dramatically increase the accuracy and improve the limits of detection of dangerous chemical threats,” GE Global Research scientist Radislav Potyrailo said. “Fast and accurate chemical detection and quantification are vital to help ensuring the safety of cargo that passes through our nation’s ports.”
These tags are operational without batteries. If they react to a dangerous compound, their internal electric properties will activate and a reader will receive an alert to the threat.
These tags would also allow for mobile security points in airports and, with their innate connectivity, they could be linked to a central hub for surveillance purposes.