India's DRDO Launches Explosive Detection Kit In US

From left: Reny M Roy, DRDO scientist who developed the Explosive Detection Kit (EDK); Germaine L Broussard from TroopTreats, who is sending these kits to US soldiers in Afghanistan; Fay Crowe, president of Crowe and Company, manufacturer of the kit; William S Cohen, former US Defense Secretary; Avinash Chander, DRDO Director General; and Nirupama Rao, the Indian Ambassador to the US, during the launch of the EDK in Washington on Friday.

In a first of its kind of reverse technology sharing between India and the US, an innovative Explosive Detection Kit developed by Indian scientists would be manufactured in America and sold globally for quick detection and identification of combinations of explosives.

It looks like a little pocket sized cigar box, but it packs a mighty punch in the fight against terrorism. And now this nifty explosive detection kit, developed by the India's Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), is all set to play its part in the US too.

India's DRDO Launches Explosive Detection Kit In US

Reny M Roy, the Indian scientist who developed this technology, said that the EDK kits have been successfully used in preventing several terrorists' attacks and even immediately detecting the type of explosive used in the event of a bomb blast.

The German Bakery blast is one of such instances, she pointed out.

"It is an analytical tool which can avert disaster. This little box can work as a pre-blast analytical tool and as a post-blast investigative tool," Roy said, adding that they have now also developed a pocket size use and dispose explosive detection kit.

The kit was launched in Washington on Friday for production and sale in the US and other countries in the region, by Crowe and Company, a South Carolina firm. A team of Indian scientists led by DRDO Director General, Avinash Chander, the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missiles, was at hand for the global launch of the edk at a function at the US Chamber of Commerce.

"We are planning to introduce the EDK to the US Army and US homeland security forces and in other international markets after getting necessary approvals from the US regulatory institutions," said Fay Crowe, CEO and president of the company.

Based on principles of "colour chemistry", the kit uses reagents - chemical substances that trigger chemical reactions - to detect explosive types by resulting colours.

A few drops or a blast of atomized reagents on suspected explosive material can within minutes confirm, or deny, the presence of explosives - TNT, PETN, or RDX.

A few drops or a blast of atomized reagents on suspected explosive material can within minutes confirm, or deny, the presence of explosives - TNT, PETN, or RDX

Besides the wallet sized disposable kit for covert and military operations, it's also available in vanity sized field cases for law enforcement and bomb squads. And personnel can be trained in its use in just a couple of hours.

It is currently undergoing tests by US military and other security agencies but may soon be headed for use by coalition forces in Afghanistan through a non-profit.

Widely used in India by bomb detection squads and the armed forces since 2002, the handy kit would be manufactured and sold in the US and other parts of the world by Summerville, South Carolina-based Crowe and Company LLC under a technology transfer agreement.

DRDO is now talking to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI), which was instrumental in the launch of EDK in the US, for the roll out of 50 more DRDO-developed technologies for the international market under the DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment Commercialisation programme.

The Kit is portable, cost effective and can be used in both pre-blast and post-blast scenarios even in contaminated conditions. It is being used by bomb detection and disposal squads of the Army, paramilitary forces and police in India.
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Write by: RC - Sunday, August 4, 2013

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