We are here to talk about a highly promising and demanding technology, which is set to revolutionize almost every product category in the present era: Micro-electromechanical system (MEMS). MEMS based devices have great potential of creating applications for mobile or portable equipment with high flexibility and reliability. The up-and-coming technological innovation carried out with MEMS involves security and surveillance products of detecting traces of explosives.
According to experts, MEMS technology is one of the most promising explosive detection technologies of the 21st century. Also known as Micro Machines in Japan and Micro-systems Technology (MST) in Europe, MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) is a process that combines electrical and mechanical elements to build tiny integrated devices and sensors. They are made using integrated circuit (IC) batch processing techniques and can be as small as a few micrometers to as large as millimeters. A MEMS chip integrates microelectronics, micro sensors, mechanical micro structures, and micro actuators.
MEMS- based explosive detection devices are far superior to conventional electronic explosive detection devices, which are comparatively expensive, complex, and non reliable. Additionally, traditional devices call for a hefty budget and extensive training, making it more complicated. Also, they require regular maintenance to function accurately.
MEMS- based Explosive Detectors- Applications
Considering the drawbacks of conventional electronic explosive detection devices, the demand for MEMS- enabled explosive detection devices in the government, defence sector/military departments is growing substantially. Various advance, flexible and attractive features of MEMS technology makes it a lucrative choice for military and defence applications such as munitions guidance, surveillance, Arming systems, embedded sensors, data storage, aircraft control, tanks control, equipment for soldiers, etc. Government officials rely on MEMS-based explosive detection equipment to locate volatile compounds in real-time. Another instance is that of military personnel who are frequently exposed to explosive dangers. MEMS-based explosive detection kits allow them to quickly and accurately assess whether combustible materials are present in their surroundings. Military personnel also use such devices to identify bomb-makers and their bomb-making facilities.
Likewise, military scrap metal is mainly harmless, although it may contain explosive material from mines, ammunition, or mortars. However, some can be harmful, such as exploding scrap metal, which can be lethal to scrap metal yard workers. Both small and large-scale war scraps can be hazardous when transported in shipping containers for recycling. MEMS based explosive detectors can make the stock yards of scrap safer for their workforce.
How are MEMS-enabled Explosive Detection Devices Better?
Armed forces and intelligence personnel have two roles: identifying bomb networks and investigating an incident afterwards. In many cases, detecting just a trace of explosive material can make a huge difference.
A MEMS- enabled explosive detection tool is handy for identifying bombers and bomb makers. Sensors and actuators embedded in MEMS are capable of sensing, controlling, and actuating at the micro-scale while generating macro effects. These devices can detect explosives and their precursors at a trace level in just one test.
Traditional Explosive Detection Kit vs MEMS- Detection Kit
Besides exposing users to harmful chemicals, traditional explosive detection kits may also be contaminated by the users, leading to inconsistent results.
On the other hand, the results of MEMS- based explosive detection kits are reliable as the explosive detection device keeps the user's hands away from the collector to avoid contamination. MEMS- based explosive detectors, for example, can integrate with any bomb squad robot that comes with an arm and claw for letting users handle explosives safely. The user can remain far from the questionable substance using this approach.
Additionally, MEMS- based explosive detection devices are effective in detecting trace explosives. They can also identify large quantities of explosive materials in seconds.
Here are a few advantages of MEMS Explosive Detection Devices:
MEMS explosion detection systems can recognize and classify different explosives, such as conventional, homemade, or military explosives. These devices can also detect explosives in less than 10 seconds. Moreover, these easy-to-use devices can detect explosives at trace levels down to nanograms. These devices also don't call for extensive training.
MEMS devices are small in size and portable for ease of operation. Furthermore, the user is not required to carry out time-consuming serial tests to interpret the results with MEMS explosive detection devices.
Handheld explosive trace detectors based on MEMS have improved the explosive detection process and have proven successful under challenging settings. Additionally, a single swab detects all types of explosive compounds.
Though MEMS technology is still in a nascent stage, with explosives still the most preferred weapon of choice for terrorists all over the world, MEMS- based explosive detection kits appear to be the future of detecting explosives. Multiple factors, such as consistency, safety, agility, sensitivity, and easy implementation, are taken into account in this excellent explosive detection method. This disruptive technology is far more advantageous than existing explosive detection technologies, but it will take several years to make a significant impact.