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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Homeland Security Seminar Means Business

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NEWS FEATURE

Homeland Security Seminar Means Business

Speakers Emphasize Importance Of Creating Alliances, Being Aware

By Hank Russell

BRENTWOOD, NY (May 20) ? With the litany of companies converging at the Hauppauge Industrial Association's 16 th Annual Long Island Business Trade Show and Conference on the Suffolk Community College campus doing the business thing ? shaking hands, exchanging business cards, talking up their services ? other attendees gathered at the auditorium in the late morning to hear about ?Business Opportunities in Homeland Security.?

The three speakers were Dr. Ralph James, associate laboratory director for energy, environment and national security for Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY); Dr. Ron Pirich, director, airborne early warning, Northrop Grumman Corporation (Bethpage, NY); and Mark White, deputy chief of the Suffolk County Police Department and chairman of the Long Island Committee on Counter-terrorism. Their lectures did have to do with creating business partnerships in fighting the war on terror, but, more importantly, taking a ?stop, look, listen? approach in times like these.

Dr. Ralph James (r.) answers a question from the audience after the ?Business Opportunities in Homeland Security? seminar as Deputy Chief Mark White (l.) and Dr. Ronald Pirich look on. (Photo: Hank Russell)

Fighting The Threat From Within

James pointed out that the key terrorist targets are hospitals, government operations, gas and oil refineries, banks, financial centers, transportation systems, electrical grids, telecommunications and emergency services. ?Today, we are less concerned about long-range weapons from another nation,? he said. ?We're more concerned about biological weapons, chemical weapons in subways being launched or, even worse, nuclear weapons that can be smuggled in the belly of a ship.?

The need, he said, was for sensors in detecting terrorist activities inside the nation and at its borders. ?We need sensors that are compact and affordable and rugged, have low false alarms and also inexpensive. You can (be able to) deploy them In a widespread manner; we also need good signal-to-noise ratio ? it's being able to detect these signals in a varied background.?

Brookhaven's RADTEC (Radiation Detector Testing and Evaluation facility) is where off-the-shelf homeland security technology developed by the government or industry can be assembled, operated, tested and compared. RADTEC defines the strengths and weaknesses of different types of detectors and enables the comparison of detectors based on performance and ease of use. Test results can be used to help develop the most comprehensive protection system using detectors in and around the New York metropolitan area.

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