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The U.S. Air Force is working to develop a new tool that would identify the origin of a detonated nuclear bomb.
The project is a collaboration between the Air Force and a national research laboratory and would use pods to attach to aircraft to collect radioisotopes left behind by a nuclear bomb after detonation.
“Nuclear debris sampling and analysis enables verification that a nuclear explosive event occurred and aids in the national technical nuclear forensics mission requirements,” said Susan Romano, spokeswoman for the Air Force Technical Applications Center, according to Global Security Newswire. “Modularity can enable installation on a range of aircraft potentially eliminating the need for payload-specific aircraft modifications.”
Research and development on the “Harvester” technology began around 2002 with initial flight-testing occurring in September at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, where the pods successfully gathered and analyzed radioisotopes found in the atmosphere after being placed on a Reaper drone owned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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