Exelis conducts successful test of airborne CBRN sensor

Exelis, an aerospace and defense company, announced on Wednesday that it successfully flight tested a long-wave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that is able to point in multiple directions to identify CBRN threats.

During the flight test, Exelis staged various materials and substances around the Rochester, N.Y., area to test the sensor's collection capabilities. The sensors successfully collected the data and stored it for later processing. During standard flight operations, materials would be processed immediately onboard the aircraft to speed up the time for the information to be used.

The LWIR HSI sensor and processing system provides real-time information about the composition of solids and gases. The system can be used to detect improvised explosive devices, nuclear breaches, and leaky containers and pipelines.

"Customers are looking for reliable ways to locate and identify either naturally existing or man-made materials, some of which can be dangerous, illegal or items of interest that are not visible to traditional imaging cameras," Minda Suchan, the director of material identification at Exelis, said. "Using a LWIR HSI sensor would allow access to hard-to-reach areas and positively identify solids and gases critical to defense, civilian and commercial operations."

By cooling LWIR sensors significantly below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the sensors are sensitive enough to detect and identify small amounts of gas released into the atmosphere and solid materials on the ground. LWIR HSI sensors can be mounted to aircraft to fly directly over a target to collect data.

Exelis is a global aerospace, defense, information and services company that provides positioning, sensor, air traffic management and other solutions to its customers.