The careers of police officers could quite literally be going down the drain soon, but this is nothing to worry about. In fact, this is great news for police everywhere. While it’s good news for police, it is anything but for criminals; especially, those of the drug and bomb making variety. With the continuing advances in technology around the world, it was only a matter of time before someone developed a way to trace homemade drug and bomb residue back to its source. That someone is Hans Önnerud, who is a chemist with the Swedish Defence Research Agency near Stockholm. Önnerud heads up the EMPHASIS project, whose goal, according to their website,  is…”to test a system concept for the surveillance tool of tomorrow for detection and localisation of illicit bomb factories in urban areas.”

EMPHASIS Sensors Detect Drugs & Bombs in Sewers

Just How Do Emphasis Sensors Work?

Whenever anyone makes drugs or bombs, there is always some kind of residue that is left behind. A lot of times, people will simply flush the excess residue down the toilet or they will dump it down the sink thinking that it is gone for good. Big surprise to them – this is not the case!

This is where the EMPHASIS project comes into play. Using specialized sensors that are placed in the wastewater and above the ground, police will be able to detect certain chemicals and leftover drug and explosive agents within the sewer system. Once a sensor detects something suspicious, it will send a message to local police who can then begin to identify the source of the chemicals.

This sounds like a great idea in theory, but there is some concern already in the air, especially when it comes to the sensors staying clean while in the sewers. This concern doesn’t seem to worry the folks at EMPHASIS, though, who have copied sewer-like conditions in their lab and had successful results with the sensors.

If the EMPHASIS project is successful in actual sewers, this could be a huge breakthrough in the fight against drugs and terrorism.

What do you think?

[Image via dansalisbury]

SOURCE: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029415.200-sewer-sensors-sniff-out-signs-of-bombs-and-drugs.html#.UnqFZfmsim7