Finger on the button of anti-chemical warfare

Excell, Jon
December 2004
Engineer (00137758);12/10/2004, Vol. 293 Issue 7665, p12
This article reports that a tiny-designed sensor which can detect an almost limitless range of airborne chemicals could provide a low-cost alternative to existing military technology. Owistone, the Cambridge University spin-out company responsible for the button-sized device, has received $2m in venture capital to bring the technology to the market. Billy Boyle, one of the company's founders, said the sensors are smaller, cheaper and potentially more effective than any of today's sensor systems used to detect chemical agents on the battlefield. While many existing systems, such as carbon monoxide detectors, are designed to react to just one compound, Boyle said Owistone's device can gather information about all the chemicals in the air. The sensor's application is only limited by the software that it is linked to.


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