S.Korea develops real-time remote chemical warfare agent detector

South Korea has developed its first local technology for early detection of chemical weapons attacks over long distances, the national arms development agency said on Wednesday.

The Defense Development Agency said it has independently secured a “hyperspectral imaging remote chemical agent detection system,” which provides early warnings by monitoring and identifying the transmission of agents of chemical warfare or CWA in contaminant plumes.

New remote sensing technology monitors the spread of contamination in real time in the event of chemical attacks, by analyzing 2D images and infrared radiation spectral information. Technology now allows South Korea to visualize the spread path of chemical agents.

According to the ADD, Seoul should “ensure the ability to respond quickly and effectively to chemical weapons threats” and minimize damage from chemical attacks based on new technology.

The portable, lightweight chemical warfare agent detector can be installed on a variety of platforms, including manned and unmanned reconnaissance systems.

The ADD said it would work to apply secure technology to the development of “weapons systems” to detect chemical agents with a hyperspectral imaging infrared sensor.

The technology used in the detectors will be “actively” transferred to related private companies, the agency added.

The agency also said it would seek to focus on building military strength and joint private-public counter-terrorism preparedness capabilities. And as part of its efforts, the agency will develop core technology to remotely detect biological warfare agents.

The ADD explained that the chemical agent detector was the result of a research and development project initiated in 2012 as part of the Core Technology Project led by the Administration’s Defense Acquisition Program. South Korea.

The agency said chemical agent early detection equipment has been developed for a variety of purposes, including chemical accidents where hazardous substances leak.

But the development of such technology is remarkable given North Korea’s enhanced chemical and biological weapons capabilities.

The Pentagon notably declared that North Korea was the “third largest holder of chemical agents in the world” in its report on North Korean tactics published in July last year.

In the report, the US military estimated that Pyongyang possesses 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons and is developing 20 different types of chemical weapons programs, including highly toxic sarin and VX chemical agents. The US military has also prepared for the possibility of Pyongyang using chemical artillery shells.

In general, South Korea’s ADD has intensified its efforts to take countermeasures against terrorism, including attacks with chemical, biological and radiological or CBR weapons.

Seoul has also developed technology to predict the transmission path of CBR agents in real time and quickly take action in the event of attacks. The agency announced the technical development in late October as a result of the three-year project beginning in 2018.

The technology aims to help the country have a more accurate understanding of the situation in the event of CBR attacks, by providing high-resolution images of the contamination and transmission path of CBR agents across the country, including centers- populated cities.

The ADD said Seoul would be able to improve disaster response capabilities and minimize harm to the public, government agencies and the military in the event of a CBR war.

By Ji Da-gyum ([email protected])