CBRNe News March 2008
Gwyn Winfield examines the latest news in the world of CBRNE
DDMAS at Eurosatory
Cristanini, the Italian decontamination company, have announced that their truck borne decon system, DDMAS, will be at the Eurosatory show in Paris in June. Cristanini claim that DDMAS can do personnel, aircraft, terrain, personal items, ‘in-depth’ vehicle decontamination and production of drinking water. Truck borne decon systems seem to be in vogue at the moment with French, German and Italian variants on the market.
ACADA, JCAD and Hazmat ID contracts
Smiths Detection increase their market share of the US military chemical detection market with two contracts. One is a $23.8 million contract for the supply of the M4 JCAD, this is the LRIP portion of the contract with an expectation for follow on contracts for version one JCAD. This was small beer compared to the $75 million contract for further Acada units for the DoD, Acada, based on the GID3, has been a nice contract for Smiths with frequent follow on contracts. With the JCAD version 2 competition coming up both contracts should stand them in good stead.
At the other end of the scale was a $7.2 million contract from the USAF for Smiths HAZMAT detectors Hazmat ID and APD2000. This was for the Civil Engineer Support Agency of the USAF and was an expansion on the original $4.5 million contract placed last year. As well as the two detectors Smiths is also delivering 24/7/365 reachback support for Hazmat ID.
Contracts such as these undoubtedly helped Smiths Detection in their selection for the first phase of the US Navy’s Improved Point Detection System (IPDS). While only four systems have been procured for evaluation it would be difficult to see anyone seriously challenging Smith’s chances in US military CWA detection.
That old antimicrobial standby – silver – has been incorporated into Ingersoll Rand Security’s latest offering. Their range of locks, levers, exit and panic devices are now available with an optional anti-micorbial AG+ ionic silver coating to deal with mould, mildew and bacteria. The release of silver ions are slowly released over time and slow the growth of the bacteria, this may well be the sort of high volume demand item that could drive the necessary further research into silver for more robust decon solutions.
Avon Protection announced that they would be exhibiting their ST53 modular negative pressure/SCBA system at next months GSA in Malaysia. The ST53 allows users to switch between positive and negative pressure systems without compromising safety and protection. The ST53 will be joined by the EH20 escape hood.
Meanwhile Allen Vanguard (AV) will be showcasing at DSA their Digital Vanguard ROV. The Vanguard is now able to be controlled via a touch screen that can operate all features on the vanguard, such as lights and camera etc. Vanguard will be joined by other components of the AV range, such as Defender, the Med Eng protective suit and the HMS Triton database.
Do you use peroxide?
Acro Inc have announced an order from a ‘strategic US federal agency; for their peroxide explosive testers (Acro PET). This is an additional order, following on from the one they received from the US Army in August 2007, for the pen shaped detector. It joins the other explosive detectors in their family, SET and NET.
Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems, manufacturer of the Nexsense range of detectors, announced the merging of Selex S&AS with their sister company Galileo Avionica. The new company with be called Selex Galileo and will hopefully allow synergies to be gained.
Radiation Shield Technologies (who keep a notoriously low profile), manufacturers of Demron radiation blocking suits announced a Nato funded purchase of their suits to be deployed to the Emergency Situation Ministry of Belarus. Details of the purchase are said to be classified, but Jonathan Elkoubi, General Manager of the reseller Safer America, said, “we cannot provide more details about NATO’s purchase [but] we can say the sheer volume of suits purchased suggests that the deployment and leadership positioning of the Demron technology will continue to expand.” While good news for RST, it is rather worrying that Nato has seen fit to be these suits for Belarus - it would tend to point to a rather serious problem, Nato does not routinely do this sort of thing.
Demron is a lead, toxin and PVC free nanotechnology that blocks radiation – the only suit the Editor knows of to have verification of such a claim. They deserve more study and recognition, check them out at www.radshield.com
Meet the Panther! Grrowl
MIT Lincoln Lab have joined the pantheon of individuals creating biological detectors with their Panther. Their PAthogen Notification for THreatening Environmental Releases (Good work Acronym Monkey, have a banana!) apparently represents a ‘significant advance’ over other detectors. The device is supposed to offer detection and identification (!) in under three minutes and has been licensed to Innovative Biosensors, www.innovativebiosensors.com. The detector can identify 24 pathogens and was funded by DTRA. They suggest that it would be suited to buildings and subways – which would infer that it is not rugged enough for the field.
Yes we can contaminate it!
Boeing’s Scan Eagle, which was displayed amongst tight lips at last years JCBRNC at Fort Leonard Wood, has recently successfully passed DTRA trials. The trials were to show that the Scan Eagle UAV could effectively intercept, detect and fly through a simulated bio plume. What happens next is the interesting bit…
Well I’ll be blowed
Super-heated air has been known to kill the vast majority of pathogens, indeed Phillip Coleman of Protechnik Labs in South Africa has been working on one for a number of years. He will now be joined by the University of Buffalo’s BioBlower, the DoD has asked the UB team to retrofit one to their Colpro units to see how applicable it might be. The device heats the air up to 400 degrees, which would suggest a fair power supply for mobile operations.
The publication of the Spring edition of CBRNe World was almost held up by the non appearance of the Las Vegas Police. When the editor enquired what had happened to them, it was suggested that he turn on the news - where he found that they were dealing with a ricin attack, a fair excuse! Quite what exactly happened is still unknown – with the main protagonist still in hospital - but at the moment it seems to be worthy of its own film.
Roger Von Bergendorff had debts, clothes and a ‘vial of ricin’ to his name, it appears that the former (which included the IRS, hospitals, his ‘motel’ and two former girlfriends - none of which are the sort of people to forget) drove him to use the latter. He called 911 with respiratory problems, was admitted to hospital (and at this point goes into a coma and exits stage right - possibly pursued by bear), the police who attended found guns and an anarchist type book in his room. A fortnight later his cousin - Thomas Tholen - was clearing out his room when he came across a bag, he took it down to the Motel’s front desk - where an argument ensued about who should open it.
The ensuing fracas brought in a massive police response which saw seven individuals, Tholen, three police and three motel employees checked into hospital - all of which were later cleared of any ricin poisoning. Ricin, castor beans and a recipe for ricin were all found in Von Bergendorff’s room, yet Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have downplayed that it might have not been a ricin inhalation (and the hospital are not confirming anything).
Off screen Von Bergendorff has now emerged from his coma and is helping Police and the FBI with their enquiries, but is still said to be in a critical condition. CBRNe World is very grateful to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police that despite all this excitement that they were still able to make deadline!
How great an opportunity do they need?
West Yorkshire Police, in the UK, announced that they were concerned about youths breaking into a derelict cancer treatment hospital which still contained radioactive material. For the safety of these youths the material was transferred to another (non derelict) hospital. Quite what level of radioactive material was there has not been announced, yet it would seem to be something of an invitation and presumably enough to give someone a serious scare should it be released in a less than friendly manner.
Texas A&M pony up the dough
Texas A&M which has been going through ‘interesting times’ for the past nine months, after the CDC shut down their biodefense research due to health and safety reasons. Texas A&M had to pay $1 million in fines, 100 times more than they originally offered, as a federal penalty for failing to report illnesses and infection. While the CDC ban might be lifted the stain on A&M will take a lot longer to shift.
Oh… that?... We were meaning to do something with that…
US nuclear officials have decided to help the Chinese authorities move radioactive material away from the Olympic sites before the athletes turned up – The Globe and Mail reported. Details of this operations have been kept close to Chinese authorities but there have been two visits from US officials targeting hospitals and research labs.
You want to do what to my pussy?
Seattle Police learned that not all that glows is bad when they pulled over a driver suspected of having a radioactive source. The Border Agents had been stationed on the road scanning on-coming traffic when the detector alarmed and they raced to intercept the vehicle. Inside was a sick cat that had undergone radiotherapy for cancer three days ago (What will those terrorists think of next! The Dirty Cat Bomb!). Neither cat nor driver was charged.