DHS buys prototypes of "dirty bomb" detector

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., 28 April 2005. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended its contract with the ORTEC business unit of AMETEK to include the fast-track development and delivery during the third quarter of 2005 of two prototypes and other related hardware for an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Monitoring System.

Apr 28th, 2005

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., 28 April 2005. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended its contract with the ORTEC business unit of AMETEK to include the fast-track development and delivery during the third quarter of 2005 of two prototypes and other related hardware for an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Monitoring System.

The $3.1 million contract extension follows a first-stage contract awarded by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) in January to AMETEK to develop the system, which will screen passengers and cargo for potentially harmful shipments of radioactive materials that could be used in a nuclear device or "dirty bomb."

The prototype systems will incorporate arrays of ORTEC high-purity germanium detectors coupled with several unique and novel techniques to process and present data collected from possible gamma and neutron radiation emanating from pedestrians, vehicles, or freight containers. The systems will be able to quickly determine whether or not a source is "innocent," such as naturally occurring radioactive materials and medical isotopes, or "suspicious" and poses a potential terrorist threat to safety or security.

The ORTEC technology represents a substantial advance in system performance and greatly improves the ability of authorities to resolve alarms without interfering with the normal flow of commerce at airports, border crossings, freight ports, transportation terminals, and other points of interest to the Department of Homeland Security.

ORTEC has more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of highly sensitive radiation detectors used by government and industrial laboratories, nuclear facilities and medical research and in nuclear safeguards. For more information, see www.ortec-online.com.

AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology is a division of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with annualized sales of $1.3 billion. For more information, see www.ametek.com.

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