Acoustic Inspection Device

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Acoustic Inspection Device, developed a decade ago for weapons inspections in Iraq, has been commercialized using workaday information technology components.

The device consists of a sensor unit and a handheld Pocket PC running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE operating system. The device, which recently went into production, has been employing Compaq Computer Corp.'s iPaq Pocket PC, but other models may be substituted.

Mehl, Griffin and Bartek Ltd., prime contractor on the commercialization effort, worked on the software side of the Acoustic Inspection Device and is establishing a support structure, said Clifford Block, vice president of business development at Mehl, Griffin and Bartek. National labs aren't set up to provide a toll-free troubleshooting hot line.

International Engineering and Manufacturing Inc. is building the sensor unit. According to Energy Department representatives, the device can find hidden compartments inside liquid-filled containers or solids. "A lot of basic research in the labs right now can come up with tools like this," Block said.

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