Washington: Engineers have developed a new laser sensing technology that may allow soldiers to sniff out hidden bombs from a distance.
"We are able to send a laser pulse out and get another pulse back from the air itself," said Richard Miles, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University in the US.
"The returning beam interacts with the molecules in the air and carries their finger prints," said Miles, who led the study, the journal Science reports.
This "air laser" is a much more powerful tool than previously existed for remote measurements of trace amounts of chemicals in the air, according to a Princeton statement.
Miles collaborated with Arthur Dogariu, James Michael of Princeton and Marlan Scully, professor with joint appointments at Princeton and Texas A&M University.