Engineers from Technology Management Consulting Services and Global Transshipment Monitoring are wrapping up tests of a new radiation detection system for both foreign and domestic seaport security.

Developed in conjunction with Thermo Electron Corp., the new Mobile Point-of-Need Detection System, or M-PONDS, uses spectroscopic radiation detection technology to quickly identify any radioactive contents of cargo containers in a drive-through mode, as well as telling if said container is shielded, said Louis Guillebaud, president of Global Transshipment Monitoring.

He added that the mobility of M-PONDS is critical for making sure radioactive detection doesn’t negatively impact the flow of goods. “There is no need for new construction or civil engineering work when the port configuration changes since M-PONDS can be deployed exactly where needed,” said Guillebaud. “The small-footprint system is completely self-contained with its own power source and wireless communications.”

M-PONDS also helps identifies what kind of radiation is present – whether it’s industrial, used in medical devices, or from common natural sources, so these containers can be quickly assessed and sent to their destination, he added, noting that future applications pf M-PONDS may include development of devices for land borders and airports.

Guillebaud said that scientists from three national U.S. government nuclear research laboratories – Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest – conducted a technical review of M-PONDS last month and reported that the device correctly identified all of the radio nuclide test materials and properly assessed the threat level.