Better Than X-Rays: The Z-Backscatter Scan-Van
The Z-Backscatter Van is also capable of identifying low levels of radioactivity from both gamma rays and neutrons with optional Radioactive Threat Detection (RTD) technology. Here's how it works
American Science and Engineering, Inc.'s (AS&E) products creates photo-like Z Backscatter images showing organic materials by directing a sweeping beam of X-rays at the object under examination, and then measuring and plotting the intensity of scattered X-rays as a function of the beam position. Akin to light reflection, Z-Backscatter signals are particularly strong whenever the incident X-rays interact with explosives, plastics, and other biological items, which typically contain low Z materials. Even inorganic objects, such as metals, are given shape and form in Z-Backscatter images, making them easier to interpret than transmission images during X-ray evaluation.
Also, the Chinese foreign minister met with President Bush on Wednesday and blamed the incident on "a misunderstanding."
Navy officials have said they are most troubled by China‘s refusal to let the two Navy minesweepers enter Hong Kong harbor to escape an approaching storm and receive fuel. The minesweepers, the Patriot and the Guardian, were instead refueled at sea and returned safely to their home port in Japan.
The Kitty Hawk, which has its home port near Tokyo, was forced to return early to Japan when Chinese authorities at the last minute barred the warship and its escort vessels from entering Hong Kong harbor. Hundreds of families of sailors aboard the Kitty Hawk had flown from Japan to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Hong Kong, but had to return home after China refused the port entry (cont...)
The Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Program at Joppatowne High School is the first in the nation to groom the next generation of national security analysts, chemical warfare scientists, Arabic translators and defense contractors. (cont...)
EGLIN AFB — Something about the nature of the work at the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate can be deduced from the badges people without appropriate security clearances must wear. The badges sport a skull and crossbones graphic with “Escort Required” printed boldly beneath. There’s no one way to characterize what the Munitions Directorate, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and its several hundred employees do. They’re prognosticators and theoreticians, assemblers and disassemblers, inventors and exploiters of existing technologies. Although imagining weapons of the future is a big part of their mission, Munitions Directorate workers often handle immediate needs. They were instrumental in fielding the “Bunker Buster” laser-guided bomb during the first Persian Gulf War and playing mind games with Saddam Hussein before the second war by dropping the nearly 11-ton “Mother of All Bombs
Ten or 15 years ago, the emphasis at the directorate was precision — hitting a target dead-on. Today, the focus is “nano” and “bio,” among other “o’s,” says John H. Pletcher, associate director for weapons. None of the categories are mutually exclusive. Someday, the directorate might demonstrate a nano-energetic, robo-plane based on a hummingbird’s physiology that flies itself into the head of a terrorist drinking thick coffee on a balcony in Beirut, Lebanon, and then explodes. Nano and Bio “Nano” refers to scale. It’s one-billionth of a unit. A nanometer. A nanoliter. A nanogram.
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Plan of action drafted for flu pandemic (WA)http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/snohomishcountynews/2004038583_flu28n.html?syndication=rss
The Snohomish Health District will utilize locations generally along the Interstate 5 corridor to treat residents during pandemic flu should hospital beds no longer be available, officials said last week.
In addition, the health district will open triage centers for diagnosing how much care is needed in seven cities throughout Snohomish County. (cont...)
Real Star Wars http://www.fwweekly.com/content.asp?article=6491
Space isn’t the final frontier – Just the next arms race.
In the depths of the Cold War, as the arms race between the United States and Soviet Union escalated, the terrible benchmarks were recorded — nuclear test dates, the unveiling of new weapons systems, the brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.
So mark this date for a future history book: On Jan. 11 of this year, a ground-launched missile destroyed a space satellite orbiting more than 500 miles above the Earth. It wasn’t an American or a Russian missile — it was Chinese. Ostensibly, China was just removing an obsolete weather station. Metaphorically, it was a shot across the bows for the U.S., and it rattled windows in the Pentagon and around the world, as surely as a blast on a Pacific atoll did in 1946.
The launch showed military planners everywhere that the door had been opened on space as another field of war — despite a 40-year-old treaty and a half-century of effort by many nations to prevent that. The Chinese satellite destruction was so important that some have called it 1/11 — the space-war version of 9/11.
But it wasn’t really China that blew open that door. Six years to the day before the Chinese missile launch, a group headed by future U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asserted that it’s only a matter of time until there is all-out war in the heavens. Every part of our world has become a theater of war, the Rumsfeld-led group advised, and space will be no different. And if that’s so, the report said, the U.S. needs to get there first, with the biggest guns.
At least since then, the space weapons rush has been on, and North Texas defense contractors have been getting a major share of the market, investing technology, experts, and millions of lobbying dollars each year in the effort. Lockheed Martin, the nation’s top defense contractor and a major Fort Worth employer, has been the second-biggest beneficiary of this new arms race, helping develop a whole new alphabet soup of weapons and defense systems — the Aegis, the PAC-3, the XSS-11 anti-satellite system. Raytheon, with several North Texas installations, is another major and controversial space-war player, the main or subcontractor on a host of space-related weapon and defense systems, and a major supplier to the CIA and other spy agencies.
The space weapons list includes things like micro-satellites, which could stalk and destroy satellites of other nations; the EAGLE project, a series of orbiting mirrors to direct beams from ground- or air-based lasers at targets in space; and the Falcon, a sort of space shuttle for bombs. Then there are the still-theoretical “rods from God,” 20-foot-long tungsten poles, a foot in diameter, that would be launched from low Earth orbit at 25,000 miles per hour to pulverize “hardened” targets in enemy territory, such as intensely protected underground bunkers.