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Infrared Detectors May Help ID Enemy’s Intent 

10  2,009 

By Grace V. Jean 

Because insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq blend into the population, one of the military’s biggest challenges is differentiating enemy combatants from harmless civilians.

But scientists are discovering that infrared technology may help. The human brain and limbic system are the sources of emotion and motivation. Fear triggers the “fight or flight” response, and the accompanying release of hormones causes dramatic changes in the brain.

“Using infrared detection, we can see changes in conductance in a person’s face when faced with a highly emotional state,” says Jag Pamulapati, deputy director for research and laboratory management at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for acquisition, technology and logistics. Soldiers could scan a crowd for this phenomenon to isolate persons of interest.

The office is looking for partners in academia to conduct basic research to help envision that goal, he tells an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement night vision conference.

One ongoing project is investigating black silicon as a material for infrared sensor technology.                                     
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