A remote acoustic detection system designed to identify homemade bombs can determine the difference between those that contain low-yield and high-yield explosives.
That capability – never before reported in a remote bomb detection system – was described in a paper by Vanderbilt engineer Douglas Adams presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Dynamic Systems and Control Conference on Oct. 23 in Stanford, CA.
A number of different tools are currently used for explosives detection.
These range from dogs and honeybees to mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and specially designed X-ray machines.
"Existing methods require you to get quite close to the suspicious object," said Adams, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "The idea behind our project is to develop a system that will work from a distance to provide an additional degree of safety."