Secured Explosives

7/27/2012

When managing goods such as explosives and weapons, careful precautions need to be taken. For example, one concern may be the fact ordnance can detonate through electromagnetic energy. What does this mean for the M2M (machine-to-machine) community? Tags and sensors need to meet certain standards.

The HERO (Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) certification by the Dept. of Defense establishes a maximum level of electromagnetic radiation that devices may transmit without risking a potential safety hazard.

While a number of wireless RF (radio-frequency)-based technologies—such as RFID (radio-frequency identification), Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth—have tags that qualify for HERO, readers typically have a SSD (safe separation distance) that ranges between 3 feet and 12 feet.


In May, the U.S. Navy released a report that shows a particular set of wireless tags, handhelds, and base stations have a zero SSD. The technology, called RuBee, comes from Visible Assets, www.rubee.com, Stratham, N.H., and uses magnetic waves rather than radio waves.

In a statement released this week from Visible Assets, the company’s CEO John Stevens, says the wireless tags can be installed directly on or built into the devices and can be combined with a variety of sensors to help diagnose and manage the maintenance, schedule, use, and decommissioning of explosive devices, ordnance, and munitions.

How is this different? Due to the fact RuBee is magnetic, the technology can work on steel and in water. The tags have a crystal to keep track of time, as well as a battery, static memory, and sensors, which provide the ability to log data or store information.

Since RuBee uses magnetic waves, the U.S. Navy developed a new magnetic safety test protocol. Visible Assets’ Chief Technology Officer, Jason August, says, the test protocols are based on the worst possible case scenarios, and the outcome is RuBee tags, readers, and base stations can be safely used on sensitive items.

According to the company, RuBee is the only wireless asset technology that is approved for use in secure areas within the United States and for use by the government on explosives, due to the fact it has no known intrinsic safety risks.

When working with weapons, there are a number of considerations. For companies looking to provide and deploy solutions in this market segment, tech needs to meet certain safety requirements for electromagnetic radiation, as deemed by the government.





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