Small Devices Could Detect ‘Dirty Bombs’

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are close to developing a network of smart phone-sized devices that could detect minute traces of radioactive material. In time, such devices could communicate with each other and larger networks as well, to identify and mitigate threats from so-called “dirty bombs” – small nuclear munitions that could pose threats to domestic infrastructure. The project is part of an overall DARPA program aimed at countering radiation threats. During a recent month-long demonstration at a transportation hub managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 100 of the prototype units demonstrated that such a system could provide an added layer of protection to potentially vulnerable areas.