New solution monitors chemical, toxic threats

NetBotz Inc. of Austin, Texas, has created an IP-based security solution that integrates with sensors from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based RAE Systems Inc. to detect life threatening gases, chemicals and radiation.

The platform can provide homeland security officials and first responders with instant warnings about atmospheric threats, including dangerous air quality levels, chemical weapons and toxic agents, the company said.

"Integrating sensor technology with data management gives security managers a new monitoring tool," said Bob Durstenfeld, RAE Systems' director of corporate marketing.

According to NetBotz, the solution includes monitoring appliances that actively scan an area and collect data from sensors about physical threats. If the appliance senses trouble, it sends an alert over an IP network, telephone line or cellular network to the appropriate personnel.

In a subway, for example, sensors could be placed miles from a NetBotz monitoring appliance inside a tunnel. If a chemical agent were released inside the tunnel, the sensor would detect it and send that information to the monitoring appliance, which would then alert appropriate officials.

Because the solution is based on an open architecture, it can be extended to include sensors for additional threats as they become available, NetBotz officials said.

RAE Systems' sensors can detect a wide range of toxic industrial chemicals, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and others. They can also sense volatile organic compounds and radioactive materials.

The combined system can also monitor high or low levels of oxygen, which is critical in detecting the presence of dangerous ambient materials that pose a threat to humans, as well as levels of combustibility in an environment, which could signal an impending explosion.

Privately held NetBotz has approximately 2,500 customers worldwide using its threat detection platform.

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