Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Critical Calls

PostedJune 26, 2004

Download File (mp3)

Imagine an invisible nationwide web for catching terrorists that's stitched together by cell phones.  Engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are making mobile phones that they say would also detect radiation from a dirty bomb, or even a nuke.  And, once they do, the phone's precise location can instantly be sent to authorities through GPS.  Those ominous radioactive beacons may be shielded and very weak.  But Livermore scientist Simon Labov says don't worry.  They're using astrophysics technology designed to detect even faint signals from the far edge of space.  The prototype phones are too expensive for most of us, though, so initial use will likely be restricted to first responders.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.