Navy agrees to let others use security tool

The Navy will let a vendor sell portable chemical detection technology tools patented by the Navy to other agencies and companies for use as a security tool in office buildings, factories, shopping malls and cruise ships.

The nonexclusive license agreement the Navy signed last month lets Science and Technology Research of Fredericksburg, Va., manufacture a basic version of the Navy's Shipboard Automatic Chemical Agent Detector and Alarm system.

Developed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., the shipboard technology that relies on a reprogrammable computer chip can check for chemicals released into the air.

'This technology can be used in many ways, including detection of chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals and other chemical agents that may be used by terrorists,' said Mike Pompeii. He is one of two engineers at Dahlgren who invented Shipboard ACADA.

Science and Technology Research will sell two versions of the devices, said Edward Kessler, the company's executive vice president and general manager.

One version can be installed in ventilation systems to monitor circulating air for chemical agents. A smaller handheld device can be used to check air quality anywhere in a facility.

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