DRDO could sell its explosive detector in US

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by WMD, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. WMD

    WMD Regular Member

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    DRDO could sell its explosive detector in US

    WASHINGTON: It won't be a blow-out entry that will sweep America's famed military machine off its feet. But for an organization that was once sanctioned by Washington, derided by New Delhi's import lobby, and mocked even by frustrated swadeshi partisans, India's long-suffering military-technology outfit Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is taking baby steps this week towards enhancing its reputation with the launch of an explosive detection kit (EDK) in the United States.

    The EDK is not exactly rocket science for which DRDO is better-known for through with its work on Agni and other nuclear-capable missiles. But it is a nifty bit of technology that could only have been devised in such a scaled down version by a country ravaged by terrorist attacks. It attracted a fair bit attention from a range of international terrorism experts and law-enforcement agencies, for both its price and its features, particularly after it won several awards, and served as an import substitution for more expensive technologies India was importing from the west.

    The kit can be used to instantly identify explosives that are typically used in bomb blasts. At the simplest level, samples from the crime scene are tested against chemicals in the kit, which then determines whether the explosive used is RDX, TNT, PETN or any other chemical. DRDO has also made a pocket-sized, use-and-discard version of the kit, which can be used by local law-enforcement agencies to determine quick results in cases such as the Boston marathon bombing and New York City's Times Square episode.

    According to DRDO, the kit can detect and identify explosives based on any combination of nitroesters, nitramines, trinitrotoluene (TNT), dynamite or black powder. The testing requires only 3 to 5 mg of suspected sample and only 3 or 4 drops of reagents. The kit, which costs less than $ 100, comes packed in a box the size of a vanity case and in miniature vials that can be kept in shirt pockets, and contains reagents capable of detecting explosives, even in extremely small trace quantities. Upscale western versions of such a kit costs hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

    In fact, it is precisely the growing number of terrorists attacks in the US and other western countries that appears to have persuaded DRDO to come out its swadeshi mode and pitch it in America with help from FICCI, the Indian industries' association. The duo will formally launch the kit on Friday at an event in the US Chamber of Commerce, not withstanding the incessant rant from the latter about India's protectionist policy and its alleged infringement of intellectual property rights.

    ''This event will commemorate the commercialization of EDK and should also emphasize the efforts of DRDO and their willingness to share Indian technologies with the United States to preserve and protect the lives of US servicemen and women," FICCI's Secretary General Dr Didar Singh said in a note on the launch, without a trace of irony.

    In fact, it was a US firm, Crowe and Company, which first entered into a licensing agreement with DRDO to manufacture and market the EDK, which was developed by High Energy Material Research Lab (HEMRL), Pune, one of the constituent laboratories of DRDO. Crowe & Company then approached FICCI for licensing agreement with DRDO for the said technology under the DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment Commercialization program that is starting to roll out various DRDO-developed technologies for the international market.


    DRDO could sell its explosive detector in US - The Times of India
     
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  3. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Jai Ho. Great Going DRDO
     
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    So it is to be used after bombs go off. Finding explosives beforehand will still be done by dogs, I assume.

    Explosive Detection Dog Teams | Homeland Security

    Another aspect of the problem may relate to DRDO and its technology:

    Taggant History and Background
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  5. WMD

    WMD Regular Member

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    US grabs wallet-sized bomb detector created by DRDO

    When Reny Roy was assigned a project 15 years ago, she had no idea it would one day get a Washington DC debut as India's first defense technology transfer to the United States.

    The project headed by Roy, a scientist at DRDO's explosives lab in Pune, led to the creation of
    Explosive Detection Kit (EDK), which makes it easy to detect all kinds of explosive, especially those used by terrorists.

    The kit was launched in Washington on Friday for production and sale in the US and other countries in the region, by Crowe and Company, a South Carolina firm.

    It is currently undergoing tests by US military and other security agencies but may soon be headed for use by coalition forces in Afghanistan through a non-profit.

    The EDK, as the kit is known to its creators and users, is inexpensive - but no one will talk about the price; it's easy to carry and dispose and has no health risks.

    "It feels great," said Roy after the launch with her boss SN Asthana, a man of few words, standing by her side.

    Roy got the project "around 1997" with a brief to develop something to stop terrorists. But it was not a priority, not like DRDO's more glamorous Agni, Arjun and the LCA projects.

    The Pune lab scientists got down to it and kept at it through many prototypes - some that worked, and some that did not. Every stage was an improvement on the last one.

    The kit comes in various forms - one that can fit in your child's lunch box, one that can go into your husband's shirt pocket (or wife's purse) or something bigger and more substantial.

    Based on principles of "colour chemistry", the kit uses reagents - chemical substances that trigger chemical reactions - to detect explosive types by resulting colours.

    A few drops or a blast of atomized reagents on suspected explosive material can within minutes confirm, or deny, the presence of explosives - TNT, PETN, or RDX.

    The kit is widely used in India, marketed by a company licensed by DRDO, which owns the patent, to produce and market it, by law enforcement and other security agencies.

    Investigators looking at the German Bakery blast of 2010 in Pune used the kit to immediately identify the explosive used as RDX.

    "The kit helps in the identification of explosives both pre and post blasts," said Asthana.

    Fay Crowe, owner of the company now manufacturing the selling these kits in the US, said she believed the kit could have prevented the Boston Marathon explosions.

    US grabs wallet-sized bomb detector created by Indian scientist - Hindustan Times
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Isn't this erroneous reporting. This kit can test the kind of explosives a bomb has, its not a bomb detector per se. Or am I mistaken ?
     
  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Its more of a Explosive detector..
     
  8. praneetbajpaie

    praneetbajpaie Tihar Jail Banned

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    US to manufacture, market DRDO’s Explosive Detection Kit


    WASHINGTON, AUG 3:
    In a first of its kind of reverse technology sharing between India and the US, an innovative Explosive Detection Kit developed by Indian scientists would be manufactured in America and sold globally for quick detection and identification of combinations of explosives.

    The India-developed US-manufactured Explosive Detection Kit (EDK) was launched at the US Chamber of Commerce building in Washington — a block away from the White House yesterday.

    This was probably for the first time that technology developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) was being manufactured and marketed in the US, officials and industry partners said.

    “We are hoping that (technology transfer) would be a two way street,” former US Defence Secretary William S Cohen said, adding that this is a very significant step. He described it as a very “excellent example” of reverse technology transfer.

    Being commercialised as part of a programme called DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment and Commercialisation (ATAC), the two sides have entered into a Licensing Agreement with a US based-firm Crowe and Company of South Carolina for manufacturing the Kit.


    US to manufacture, market DRDO’s Explosive Detection Kit | Business Line



    Can someone confirm whether the kit will be manufactured only in the US or also in India? What is the deal here?? America will manufacture an Indian product and sell it to India???
     
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