Corps aids in detecting suspect IEDs

Alexandria, VA, April 26, 2005 – The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Topographic Engineering Center (TEC) recently developed the ability to aid commanders in detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suspected insurgents in urban and rural areas.

The new tool, known as “Buckeye,” uses imagery analysis to detect changes in an area that indicate the possible presence of IEDs.  Buckeye also has captured imagery of suspected insurgents involved in criminal activity.

The small device is being used in areas of Iraq and is generally platform independent.  “We can help our Soldiers in the field in locating suspected IEDs, improving situational awareness, and helping catch the bad guys,” said Robert Burkhardt, TEC director.

The danger of an improvised explosive device (IED) is that it can be delivered through a multitude of containers, such as vehicles, trash cans or a child’s toy. IEDs are difficult to detect because the builders use these ordinary objects for delivery.

IEDs are improvised from the materials available to the builder and are designed to defeat a specific target or type of target. The devices themselves can be constructed from any type of material and initiator. It is a “homemade” device designed to cause death or injury by using explosives alone or in combination with toxic chemicals, biological toxins, or radiological material. IEDs can use commercial or military explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and components.

For further information, contact Karen Roberts, ERDC/TEC Public Affairs at 703-428-3736 or