Multiband Fluorescence Imaging for Wide Area Detection of Land Mines, Unexploded Ordnances, and Other Contaminants

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Department of Defense
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Phase I
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Small Business Information
PO Box 643, 333 Hart Street, Edgefield, SC, 29824
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Keith Williams
Project Manager
(803) 637-0898
Business Contact:
Keith Williams
(803) 637-0898
Research Institution:
Robert Burlage
Environmental Sciences Divi, PO Box 2008, Bethel V
Oak Ridge, TN, 37831
(865) 574-7321
Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
NEWTEC Remediation Services, Inc. recently field demonstrated a new technology for the wide area detection of UXO. The technique was originally developed for landmines, but works for all types of ordnance or associated explosive waste (EW) products. Itdepends on the leakage of explosives from UXO items, resulting in a concentration on the surface of the soil over the hazard. The detector of this subtle signal is a strain of benign soil bacteria that has been engineered to detect trinitrotoluene (TNT)and respond by producing a fluorescent protein, making a detectable fluorescent mark on the ground. Using a laser, the fluorescent emissions are detectable. The laser produces real-time imaging of the fluorescent signatures on the actual terrain in thefield. New breakthroughs have occurred since the original field demonstration. Spectroscopic investigations showed that a new variant of the fluorescent protein gives better contrast between bacterial and background fluorescence, particularly in plants.Additional research has resulted in plants that emit a fluorescent protein expression. Plants offer an attractive complement to the bacterial vector since certain plants efficiently absorb ground based explosive chemicals through their root systems. Thefluorescent protein is then expressed over the broad area of the plants leaf canopy. An airborne detection platform is the objective for the field deployment of this new technology.NEWTEC Remediation Services, Inc. is commercializing the use offluorescent bioreporters in several fields-of-use (FOU's). The primary and near term goal is the detection of explosive hazards and waste at UXO sites, and the detection of landmines in other countries. The NEWTEC-RSI objective is the creation of sitesurvey and soil characterization information to enhance the efficiency of UXO remediation projects for land reclamation and reutilization initiatives. We will also establish broad area detection information to promote demining operations for majorinfrastructure projects such as oil and gas pipelines, new roadways, and utility lines. A secondary, and a more highly visible global benefit, is the refinement of the process as an area reduction/wide area detection tool for humanitarian deminingoperations. NEWTEC-RSI with its growing family of biological and phyto-detection capabilities, will be able to expand into several additional market areas. These include, but are not limited to:¿ Monitoring gas and oil pipelines for leaks¿ Phyto detection and remediation of chemicals¿ Industrial Security¿ Agricultural Crop Surveillance¿ Livestock Surveillance and Animal Healthcare¿ Bio-technical Medical Research and Pharmaceuticals¿ Base Realignment and Closure, and Formerly Used Defense Site Remediation

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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