Autonomous biothreat sensors to be developed

Qinetiq North America has announced that it is working in conjunction with Brewer Science and Applied Systems Intelligence on a new program to develop an autonomous, self-deploying sensor to serve as a roving, early-warning detector of biological warfare activity.

"This project will help create a new and advanced chemical and biological threat detection capability for the military and for homeland defense," JD Crouch, president of QinetiQ North America's Technology Solutions Group, said. "QinetiQ North America welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners and JVIC and use our best resources and talent to accomplish this project."

The U.S. Army Research Office is funding the program, with worked performed primarily at the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University and at Qinetiq North America's Waltham, Mass.-based Technology Solutions Group.

"The development of this mobile early-warning robot sensor in Springfield is a great opportunity for Missouri State, its students and our community," Dr. Ryan Giedd, executive director of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center, said. "JVIC has now progressed to the point where we are value-adding to the most sophisticated of advanced technologies known while providing job opportunities in the near future for advanced manufacturing."

The newly announced project was designed with the goal of meeting a state Department of Defense need for tactical and biological defense as well as for an intelligent network for communication and direct senors to provide real-time threat information.

The carbon nanotechnology biological agent sensors for the project will be provided by Brewer Science of Rolla, Mo.

Software to integrate sensing, detection, identification and alerts for the system will be developed by Applied Systems Intelligence of Alpharetta, Ga.