Smiths Detection2007-05-15 23:59:12

Smiths Detection chosen to commercialise early warning system for chemical terrorist attacks

Smiths Detection today announces it has been chosen by Argonne National Laboratory, the first national laboratory in the US, to be the exclusive licensee of PROTECT, an early warning system which integrates chemical sensors and security cameras to safeguard public locations from terrorist chemical attacks.

PROTECT has already been deployed in major US transit systems: last month Smiths Detection was awarded a $3.2 million contract to engineer and deploy PROTECT at New York train stations.

Smiths Detection, through its LiveWave business unit which develops and supplies sensor management systems, competed for the rights to commercialise and provide technology enhancements for the PROTECT system for use in a variety of homeland security and military applications. It is expected that Smiths Detection and Argonne National Laboratory will enter into a detailed agreement which will create a long term relationship to include software licensing and sponsored research.

PROTECT (Programme for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism) was developed by Argonne in response to the 1995 sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. Funding for the programme began in 1998.

The goal of PROTECT was to create early warning detection and response systems capable of safeguarding public locations from possible chemical terrorist attacks. Employing chemical sensors, PROTECT provides emergency responders with accurate information about airborne chemical attacks in large public indoor spaces. PROTECT significantly reduces response time to an incident, potentially saving many lives.

"PROTECT is a highly effective way to help protect the public from chemical attack,� said Stephen Phipson, Group Managing Director of Smiths Detection. "We look forward to working with Argonne to commercialise these capabilities for both new and existing customers.�
Smiths Detection-LiveWave has been working closely with Argonne since early 2002. It was contracted to integrate its FirstView video and sensor management software platform with Argonne's Chemical/Biological Agent Emergency Management System (CB-EMIS) as part of the PROTECT programme. The solution offers real-time access to controllable cameras, sensors, tracking systems and maps using any type of networked PC, including wireless laptops, tablet PCs or handheld PCs.

"As a leading technology developer and integrator of security sensors, Smiths Detection is an ideal choice to enhance and commercialise PROTECT,� said Terrence Maynard, Office of Technology Transfer, Argonne National Laboratory. "Its global footprint, experience and strong reputation will help deploy PROTECT more widely to safeguard the public from terrorist attacks.�

Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centres, having been the nation's first national laboratory, chartered in 1946. Under the management of UChicago Argonne, LLC, it is now one of the country's leading centres of federally funded research and development, supporting more than 200 research projects in national security and other areas of science.

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