Aug. 10 (UPI) — The Air Force Technical Applications Center is partnering with the University of Texas at Austin to conduct research into nuclear forensics, the Air Force announced on Wednesday.
The students, faculty and scientists will develop new methods to speed up analysis of the aftermath of a nuclear detonation. The program is funded with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
AFTAC is the Department of Defense organization tasked with nuclear analysis. The Ciambrone Radiochemistry Lab at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida run by AFTAC is used to identify nuclear debris for AFTAC’s Nuclear Debris Collection and Analysis Program.
Samples are studied to determine origins of debris and help monitor compliance with nuclear test treaties.
AFTAC also runs a sensor network that would assist the FBI following any domestic nuclear explosion from terrorism or accident. It has over 3,600 sensor arrays world wide.
“Nuclear deterrence is critical to the overarching role this center plays in our national strategy,” AFTAC’s chief scientist Dr. Glenn Sjoden said in a press release.
“When we’re able to introduce new minds to our unique 70-year history of monitoring nuclear activity across the globe, it allows us to stress the vital importance and necessity of deterring other nation-states or even non-state actors from waging war with nuclear weapons.”