In response to the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, Block Engineering is now offering a suite of products that can be used to protect "soft targets" such as stadiums, shopping malls and transportation terminals against chemical threats.
Block is a leading US manufacturer of chemical detection sensors and has been providing such systems to the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community for decades. Many of Block’s systems are currently deployed and operational as part of layered chemical security solutions at critical facilities, such as the Pentagon.
"Block Engineering is uniquely positioned to provide these sensors to US and foreign governments for chemical security against terrorism," said Dr. Petros Kotidis, Block’s CEO. "Advances in laser technology and signal processing algorithms have enabled detection of dangerous chemicals, such as chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial gases, at very low concentrations. We are very excited to offer these life-saving products during the current difficult times."
Block’s flagship products for critical infrastructure protection are:
- LaserWarn: A recently introduced system, which uses eye-safe, unique, invisible, infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) that create a "trip wire" against threatening chemicals. Covering distances as long as 2-3 km, the system alarms in less than 1 sec, when a dangerous chemical crosses the trip wire beams anywhere in the protected area. The system provides the most sensitive, standoff chemical detection available today and can operate indoors or outdoors on a continuous 24/7 mode with no consumables.
- PORTHOS: A portable, standoff sensor, which can detect an oncoming, released chemical cloud at distances as long as 3-5 km, providing enough warning time to respond and protect the facility. PORTHOS uses Block’s unique rapid scan Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer in a passive detection configuration. The system can be used either as a portable detector or installed at a fixed location on a tripod or a scanner for complete area coverage. Indoors or outdoors operations are available with no consumables.
"Since 1956, Block has been a leader in standoff chemical detection," said Dr. Daniel Cavicchio, Block Engineering’s Chairman. "For decades, our systems have been used to protect critical installations and our new product offerings, including the new class of QCLs, are now enabling even more capabilities to protect the public against terrorist threats."
Both LaserWarn and PORTHOS have built-in chemical libraries of all the chemical threats, which could also be expanded to include new, emerging threats and potentially also be used to detect vapors from explosives, such as Triacetone Triperoxide, recently used in terrorist attacks.
Please visit Block’s website for more information on these products at www.blockeng.com.