March 27th, 2009 in Breaking News, Technology

Classified research to track ‘green’ explosives, nanotech weapons systems.

TEL AVIV — Researchers are at work here on a secret government-funded military project geared to the detection and identification of new forms of explosives and to gauge the potential militarization of emerging new technologies including nanotechnology.

The Defense Ministry’s Research and Development Organization has been funding a project conducted in part at Tel Aviv University, that would enable the detection of so-called “green explosives”.

TAU has also been conducting research with the Defense Ministry on how insurgency groups could transform new technology into lethal capability. One area studied by the university team, led by Professor Touvia Miloh, has been nanotechnology.

Green explosives have been defined as next-generation munitions based on multiple nitrogen atoms in the molecule.

“We would like to match the development of novel explosives and propellants with the development of appropriate detection technologies, so that if these materials should ever make their way to the market — and they will — we’ll be able to detect them, and not be stuck with unanswered questions,” Michael Gozin, a researcher at Tel Aviv University, said.

The Israeli project was said to be classified, and Gozin said he could not provide details. But he said Israel, based on the 2006 war with the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah, would develop advanced explosives for the military.

“The creation of new chemistries is extremely important for the technological superiority of our troops,” Gozin said. “Yet at the same time, whatever is developed for the military market will ultimately end up in the hands of terrorists. So, we need to be ready.”

During the 2006 war in Lebanon, Hizbullah was found to have used Israeli-origin weapons supplied to Iran in the 1970s.