ECBC to develop new chemical detector with South Korea

Scientists with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center's Research & Technology Directorate recently announced a partnership with the South Korea-based Agency for Defense Development to redesign an outdated chemical detector.

The partners received funding to redesign the joint contaminated surface detector, an outdated ultraviolet-based Raman chemical detector, in an effort to develop a more compact and robust product compatible with advances in technology. While the HCSD was effective in detecting chemicals on surfaces, significant resources would be needed to identify solutions to some issues with the system.

"When we met with the Korean scientists, they told us they had read about the detector in published journals and were curious to learn more about it," Darren Emge, an electrical engineer with R&T's Laser Spectroscopy Branch, said. "The JCSD has been sitting here for years as we wondered how to best utilize it. The component technology is 10 years old, but the system could still provide a great foundation for a new, more efficient and more effective product. So we began a conversation about a collaborative effort to build a new detector based on the old system, moving to a more modular approach."

The new system, the Raman agent monitoring system, will be smaller, modular and more rugged. The ECBC and ADD will each test a JCSD system separately and come back together in a few months to discuss how the system could be updated and added to. The teams will then divide up the work appropriately.

"We have a lot of experience building libraries and developing detection algorithms, so we will handle most of that work," Emge said. "The Korean team has already planned out operational field testing. Over the next two years, we will each work on developing these two areas, modularizing the system and filling in the technology gaps."

Emge said the team plans to conduct an operational demonstration of a prototype RAMS on the Korean Peninsula in two years.