Block MEMS tapped for counter-IED effort

Jan. 4, 2013 at 1:12 PM

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Massachusetts engineering company Block MEMS will adapt its LaserScan spectrometer to help the U.S military to detect improvised explosive devices.

The adaption work will be performed under a multimillion-dollar contract funded by the U.S. Army's Joint Improvised Device Defeat Organization. The length of the contract, which will be managed by the Army's Night Vision and Electronics Sensors Directorate the Sentel Corp. wasn't disclosed.

"This contract brings our total product development awards over the past few months from the Department of Defense to over $7.8 million," Block Executive Chairman Daniel J. Cavicchio, Jr. said. "Awards have come from multiple branches of (Defense Department), all related to Block's unique capabilities to detect substances from a standoff distance.

"These capabilities include Block's LaserScan product, which uses widely tunable quantum cascade lasers, and our PORTHOS, which uses a compact rugged Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer.

"We are pleased that (the Department of Defense) has expressed its confidence in Block's new products."

Block said it will adapt its LaserScan spectrometer to detect from a distance recently dug up soil, which is a possible indicator of buried explosives.

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