Singapore debuts bioterror attack tracing software

DSO National Laboratories, Singapore's defense research and development organization, has created software to monitor the spread of chemical agents in real-time.

The lab's prototype debuted at the Singapore Armed Forces' Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group in early March following four years of research by scientists.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that the technology was an example of Singapore's defense scientists and military planners successfully partnering to utilize skills acquired since the early 1990s in handling biochemical and radiological threats.

Teo, who is also Singapore's Defense Minister, said that the technology was needed to back up first responders with scientists to ascertain the best possible solution suited to an attack. The software also allows soldiers dealing with deadly substances to be more confident with the knowledge that they are backed by research and scientists.

The software allows first responders to tell within 15 minutes, in the event of a chemical or biological attack on a building, how toxic the agent used is and how far it has spread within the building. This will allow chemical defense troops to stop any threats from expanding to more areas and to create routes to evacuate people without exposing them to deadly toxins. The software has previously been successfully tested at a Formula One race.