BAE Systems and Portendo sign IED threat detection agreement

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 17 May 2010. BAE Systems and Portendo AB signed an agreement to co-operate on civil and military detection systems for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

May 17th, 2010
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Posted By John McHale

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 17 May 2010. BAE Systems and Portendo AB signed an agreement to co-operate on civil and military detection systems for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The agreement means that BAE Systems obtains an exclusive license to market, sell and manufacture Portendo's P.Eye-S in the U.S. and Canada, for the civil market. The P.Eye-S is Portendo's first product for remote detection of explosives, providing safer working conditions for security personnel at airports, military establishments, government buildings, and other potential targets.

The agreement also covers the development of a military detection system for roadside bombs based on this technology. It will, under a separate license agreement, be manufactured and sold exclusively by BAE Systems.

This technology can be adapted to vehicle-mounted weapons and sensor systems, such as BAE Systems' Lemur, helping troops to secure an area and clear concealed explosives from a safe distance.

"We have worked with several different initiatives for countering the improvised explosive device threat and the Portendo equipment is technologically ground breaking. This agreement will ensure that technologies developed in support of the war against terrorism are exploited in the most efficient way," says Ulf Einefors, head of business development for BAE Systems Weapons.

"Our system has a great potential in the homeland security market in the U.S. and Canada and, with further development, for IED clearance on military operations. With its vast experience in the defense market, BAE Systems is an ideal partner for us when it comes to development and marketing of such products," says Portendo CEO Gunilla Savring.

Portendo, working with the FOI (the Swedish Defense Research Agency), developed the P.Eye technology which can detect minute quantities of explosives using lasers.

Their detection methods are based on the phenomenon known as Raman scattering (C. V. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery) which provides a unique molecular signature enabling selective identification, BAE Systems say. The Raman scattering is triggered by energizing the substance with directed energy from laser beams.

The civil P.Eye-S system is optimized for vehicle check points. It works by aiming a laser beam at a particular area on the target vehicle. The reflected light is collected by the apparatus and is analyzed using the Raman scattering method, which provides a unique molecular signature which can be compared against an explosives database.

Portendo uses proprietary, patent-applied enhancements to Raman spectroscopy to enhance the otherwise weak Raman signal and achieve performance improvements of several orders of magnitude over the original technology.

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