Pune – The first National Workshop on Explosives Detection (NWED)-2018 was inaugurated on 14th December 2018 at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune. The National Workshop on Explosives Detection (NWED)-2018 provides a platform to scientists, technocrats and users to share knowledge, experience and update information on the technological advancements made in the recent past. A total of 200 delegates from different DRDO labs, Army, CRPF, CISF, Police, Academic Institutes, Industry and other Security agencies are attending the workshop.

The chief guest Shri Atul Chandra Kulkarni, Addl DGP, ATS, Mumbai in his address brought out that detection of explosives is a compelling need of the hour. Security agencies are continuously monitoring vulnerable targets with the help of intelligence agencies to thwart the attempts of anti-social elements. He expressed happiness that the pursuit of academia and DRDO had helped in developing portable device useful for by security agencies.

Guest of honour, Shri P.K. Mehta, Distinguished Scientist &Director General (ACE) emphasized that now concerted efforts have to be made for development of device for detection of concealed explosives. No single technology would suffice to detect all types of explosives. Hence scientists should think of amalgamation of two or three technologies and come out with a device to provide a comprehensive solution.

Shri K.P.S. Murthy, Outstanding Scientist & Director HEMRL, mentioned that significant amount of research work is being carried out in DRDO and academia. An Explosive Detection Kit (EDK) developed by HEMRL earlier based on colorimetry is being used extensively by various security agencies in India. An advanced version of explosive detection kit christened as “OPX-Revilator” is now developed by HEMRL which can detect a variety of explosives and their mixtures. The device is also unveiled during inaugural function.

Dr Umapathy, Director IISER, Bhopal in his keynote address mentioned that serious research on explosive detection technologies in academia was started only a decade ago in India and is fast expanding. He explained broadly about different techniques available for trace and concealed explosive detection and their associated challenges. He highlighted the recent use of Tera Hz and Laser based spectroscopic technologies for standoff detection of concealed explosives. He also mentioned how no single technique can solve the problem of explosive detection; rather this has to be done using multiple technologies. He emphasized that it is necessary to make concerted effort in this country to bring out detection devices based on our requirement. It is the right time to understand the requirement of the user which has been widely represented by various security agencies like CRPF, NSG, ITBP, CISF, Armed Forces and utilize the knowledge by technologists for development of new devices and also to form a roadmap for research in this area.

During inauguration of NWED-2018, a trace explosive detection device, OPX-Revilator, developed by HEMRL was unveiled by the chief guest Shri Atul Chandra Kulkarni, Addl DGP, ATS, Mumbai in the presence of Shri PK Mehta, DS and DG(ACE), Dr A Maheswari, DG, BPR&D, New Delhi, Lt Gen Michel Mathews Commandant CME , Dr K M Rajan Director ARDE, Dr S K Vasudeva, Scientific Consultant to PSA, and Shri KPS Murthy OS & Director, HEMRL. OPX-Revilator is an optronic trace explosives detector for detection and identification of pure explosives as well as trace explosives in mixture/IEDs and contaminants.

The OPX Revilator is a portable, miniaturized, electronic detector capable of detecting almost all the explosives widely used by antisocial elements and in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). This device has the capability to detect more than 25 explosives in traces, IEDs and in the presence of contaminants like mud, sand, sugar, diesel oil etc.

The OPX Revilator would be highly useful for Homeland Security and Civil security operations at Airports, Railway Stations, Shopping malls, Multiplexes, Schools, Colleges, Universities and all strategic locations. Agencies like Paramilitary Forces (BSF), Army, Navy, Air Force, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS), CISF and CRPF can use Revilator for trace level detection during Pre and Post blast analysis.

Lt. Gen. Michael Mathews, VSM, Commandant CME in his plenary talk highlighted the need for versatile explosive detectors to be made available to the services for countering the threat faced by the armed forces. He emphasized the urgent need for detection of concealed bulk explosives to minimize the threat and collateral damage.

Shri M. Jamal Khan, Director, National Bomb Data Centre, NSG enlightened the audience on the difficulties faced by paramilitary personnel during explosive detection in Maoist areas.

On this occasion, a souvenir comprising of abstracts from eminent speakers from IITs, ACRHEM, Universities and DRDO labs was released at the hands of the honourable chief guest. Scientists from renowned Institutes / Universities will present research work on detection of explosives during this workshop. The concluding session is planned on 15thDecember, 2018 to evolve the road map for futuristic development of detection technologies.