Army seeks technology for detection and degradation of chemical and biological agents

NASHUA, N.H., 31 July 2012. Skyler Frink reports on the Army's recent interest in the detection and defeat of chemical and biological agents in this week's Military & Aerospace Electronics Report.

Transcript: This is the Military & Aerospace Electronics Report, I'm Skyler Frink.

The Army is looking into both the detection and decontamination of chemical and biological agents, environmental biodegredation and bioremediation, and novel biotic materials. To begin, the Army has awarded a contract to EXCET Inc., a services and technology firm that focuses on government entities.

This recent contact is for a research and development effort for technologies that detect chemical and biological agents, as well as energetic materials. Not only will this include the usual suspects for chemical and biological agents, the technology will also need to be able to detect toxic industrial materials and chemicals. The contract hopes to develop technology that is easy to use, rugged, durable, lightweight, small, and low cost, all properties that would make it useful for soldiers in the field.

The Army is also seeking systems that will degrade chemical nerve agents, mustard, toxins and other biological warfare agents. In a similar vein, the Army is also looking for self-decontaminating coatings that have enzymatic or biochemical components.

We haven't seen biological warfare in quite some time, which makes the Army's push for this technology during this tight budget environment seem strange. Is this a regular instance of shoring up our defenses, or is there something prompting this? Regardless, the ability to find and defeat such a dangerous threat would be massively beneficial to our troops on the ground. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of this new research.

For the Military & Aerospace Electronics Report, I'm Skyler Frink


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