Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If Iran launches a chemical attack on USA soil - crowdsourcing will save us!

Cell phone sensor aims to crowd source chemical attack information

NASA scientists have developed a new chemical sensor that allows iPhones to identify low airborne concentrations of chemicals including ammonia, chlorine gas and methane.

The postage-stamp sized chemical sensor was developed by Jing Li, a Physical Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. The project was developed with other researchers as part of Homeland Security's Cell-All program, which was created to put more mobile sensors in the hands of every cell phone user.

The sensor works by using a puff from a sample jet that helps sense any airborne chemicals. Information from the sensor is then processed by a silicon chip with 16nano-sensors and then sent to another phone or computer through any Wi-Fi or telecom network.

The sensor, it is hoped, could be used to alert first responders to the presence of a chemical agent stemming from an accident or attack. The device would work even if the cell phone user loses consciousness from the chemical's presence.

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