L-3 developing handheld explosives detection combining metal sensor and ground-penetrating radar
FORT BELVOIR, Va., 8 Oct. 2015. Engineers at L-3 Communications Security & Detection Systems (SDS) Inc. in Woburn, Mass., are applying their expertise in baggage screening and airport security to developing a handheld explosives detection system that combines a metal detector and ground-penetrating radar.
Officials of the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., announced their intention this week to award a contract for L-3 SDS to move forward with the Next Generation Handheld Multi-Sensor Explosive program to help the military detect roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
L-3 SDS engineers will continue developing an experimental handheld system that can detect explosive hazards like land mines, deeply buried metallic and non-metallic IEDs, as well as triggering mechanisms like wires and other conductive components.
The company specializes in explosives-detection, metal detectors, personnel and cargo screening, X-ray systems, and similar IED-detection technologies for airport, border, and perimeter security applications.
The Army Contracting Command is negotiating a contract with L-3 SDS on behalf of the Army Night Vision Electronics Sensor Directorate of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Communications Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center.
Army researchers are working with L-3 SDS on a special initiative to design user-friendly easily maintainable explosive detection systems that combine metal-detection sensors, ground-penetrating radar, and other sensor technologies in a unit that one soldier can use without help.
L-3 SDS experts will continue developing a handheld explosive hazard-detection technology demonstrator that the company developed previously, Army officials say. L-3 SDS will improve the demonstrator's ability to detect explosive hazards, reduce the unit's false-alarm rate, shrink the unit's size, and make it easier to use.
The value of the upcoming 18-month contract to L-3 SDS has yet to be negotiated.