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07 Nov 06. Smiths Detection has signed a teaming agreement with Telops Inc, a Canadian business developing and building optical systems for the aerospace and defence industries. The technical and marketing agreement will enable Smiths Detection to introduce electro optical technology for standoff detection to enhance its range of chemical & biological agent detection products. Telops has developed Fourier Transform technology for use in lightweight and portable chemical imaging products. This enables detection, identification and quantification of airborne chemical agents at a distance of a few kilometres in a wide variety of environments. The advanced infrared instruments can be used as standalone and unmanned sensors over extended periods and will complement the range of hand-held and portable detectors for continuous monitoring, currently supplied by Smiths Detection to military forces and emergency responders, worldwide.

Jun 06. A revolutionary new blast protection system could soon be used in the UK following tests to enable design code development.Derbyshire-based developer Aigis developed the Tabreshield product, which is already in use protecting airports and office blocks across the world, but until now its presence has been minimal in the UK. Tabreshield is a lightweight cladding made from hollow glass balls held together with resin. Its inventor David Christian explained that it weighs approximately 50kg/m 2 and behaves like a stone sponge, absorbing the blast and then, if necessary, disintegrating to disperse the impact. It can be retrofitted to buildings, tunnels or structures. It can also be used to clad specific areas used to store suspected letter bombs or suspicious luggage. The developments come as US police announced they had foiled plans by terrorists to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. Two explosion tests were carried out in Woomera, Australia to provide the necessary data for developing design codes to aid engineers in specifying the material for cladding. First was a 5000kg ammonium nitrate fuel oil bomb, equivalent to the largest ever bomb set off by the IRA, made from pesticide and diesel, said Christian. In a second test, the material resisted a 5t trinitrotoluene (TNT) bomb positioned 40m away. Unclad reinforced concrete failed when positioned 100m away, he said.

Oct 06. Plextek has won a $50m order from US company LoJack Corporation, its largest contract to date. The deal, covering two years, is for production of the next generation LoJack stolen vehicle recovery unit that police can track directly. The first part of the order has already been shipped. The LoJack contract represents the extension of Plextek’s activities from pure design house to niche contract manufacturer of volume communications products. Plextek’s manufacturing partner is Clarion (Malaysia), part of the Clarion automotive electronics group. LoJack Corporation, the company that invented the stolen vehicle recovery market, leverages its superior technology, direct connection with law enforcement and proven processes to be the undisputed global leader in tracking and recovering valuable mobile assets.

23 Oct 06. ITT Corporation has received financial support from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to enhance the capabilities of its Airborne Natural Gas Emission LIDAR (ANGEL) Service to provide rapid response information on leaks in natural gas or other hazardous-materials pipelines in times of natural or manmade disasters. The funding comes through an extension of a contract with USDOT PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration) under which ITT’s current airborne leak detection sensor technology used in the ANGEL Service was successfully enhanced to remotely detect and quantify small leaks of hazardous liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuels and propane. ITT’s ANGEL Service uses laser-based remote sensing technology aboard a small aircraft to detect and quantify pipeline leaks with a

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