Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Barcode for explosives

04.03.2005


Experts encounter a serious problem when studying the crime scene after an explosion. They can establish to a high degree of probability the type and power of the device used by terrorists and with what explosive substance it was filled with. However, they are usually unable to answer the most important question as to where and when the explosive itself was made: TNT is still TNT, regardless of the where and when it was produced.



Specialists from the Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics and their colleagues from several defense enterprises have developed special encoding additives. If these additives are introduced to the composition of the explosive, the site of the explosion will leave a kind of fingerprint, with which the explosive could be identified and the path of its legal movements could be traced; this would give the investigation into an incident of this kind a thread to uncover the supply channels of the terrorists. This most important work was fulfilled by the researchers in the framework of ISTC Project # 1292.

It is very difficult to make such encoding additives specifically for explosives; the requirements are too strict. On one hand they have to be completely harmless to the product (the explosive) and to the environment in their own right. On the other hand the explosion must not damage the encoding additive. And of course they all have to be individual, to ensure the reliability of the identification process. No dirt or impurities should be able to hinder the recognition of markers or to confuse them.


However, these complications proved no problem to the scientists from the Institute of Chemical Physics. The encoding additives they have proposed to introduce to the composition of explosives do not damage the explosive and are themselves undamaged after an explosion and have no adverse environmental effects.

“These are tiny grains of aluminum alloy, comprised of rare-earth elements,” informs Project Manager and Head of Laboratory Yuri Krasevich. “There are very few such elements in nature and they are dispersed throughout the Earth’s Crust. Therefore, in whatever quantities they may sensibly be found in special, pre-set combinations, they are not met in either natural or manmade objects. However it will be possible to find them at the site of an explosion; at least if they had been initially introduced to the composition of the explosive.”

Naturally, it is not so simple to identify such “fingerprints” as it is to read information from a barcode in a supermarket. Here the task in fact involves a highly complex chemical analysis of microscopic samples, to discover how many rare-earth elements there are in the sample, what exactly they are and in what combination. And yet the researchers have coped with this most difficult of tasks.

For the analytical method the project authors proposed the use of laser-emission analysis of the element composition, using equipment developed by NPO Typhoon. The scientists also developed the necessary methodology and highly complex software for statistical analysis.

The first tests have already been conducted. Using a special bench in an explosion chamber the properties of an “encoded” explosive were studied and the scientists are confident that it explodes “as it should” – no worse than the explosive in its initial state. The same can be said for the “fingerprints” it leaves, which enable identification to the same level of reliability as a product that is identified by its barcode.

Olga Myznikova | alfa
Further information:
http://www.istc.ru

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

nachricht Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Matabele ants: Travelling faster with detours

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>