Taking a Bomb’s Fingerprint:

Air Force Research Lab techies are working on the Cross dispersion Prism sensor, which officials say is a “passive staring electro-optical infrared sensor that allows for continuous surveillance of an area.” Its use: Detect, locate, identify, and classify “energetic events,” such as explosions in real time. It takes a spectral/temporal signature of the explosion, in a sense providing its fingerprint to let warfighters better distinguish among artillery, bombs, small arms fire, etc. Begun in 2004, the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass., project has proceeded in record time and was tested in late 2005 aboard a Navy Aerostar UAV at NAS Patuxent River, Md. ESC plans final testing for September 2006 at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.