June 26, 2009

Students design portable IED detector

University of Michigan students say they have designed a palm-sized metal detector designed to locate hidden improvised-explosive devices.

The detectors could be hidden, say, in trash cans, under tables or in flower pots, the students say, and they're connected to a wireless network that sends to a movable base station information on where IEDs are located.

The sensors are cheaper, use less power and have a longer range than existing technology, Nilton Renno, a professor in the UM Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, said in a press release.

The students created the sensors as a project for Renno's class.

Their invention outperforms everything that exists in the market today, Renno said.

They clearly have an excellent understanding of the problem. They also thought strategically and designed and optimized their solution, he said.

Ashwin Lalendran, an engineering student who worked on the project, said the students designed all the software and hardware as part of a class.

Suicide bombers in Afghanistan and Iraq often use IEDs.