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Clandestine grave detector

United States Patent

December 13, 2011
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
An apparatus and a method for detecting a burial site of human remains are disclosed. An air stream is drawn through an air intake conduit from locations near potential burial sites of human remains. The air stream is monitored by one or more chemical sensors to determine whether the air stream includes one or more indicator compounds selected from halogenated compounds, hydrocarbons, nitrogen-containing compounds, sulfur-containing compounds, acid/ester compounds, oxygen-containing compounds, and naphthalene-containing compounds. When it is determined that an indicator compound is present in the air stream, this indicates that a burial site of human remains is below or nearby. Each sensor may be in electrical communication with an indicator that signals when the sensor has detected the presence of the indicator compound in the air stream. In one form, the indicator compound is a halogenated compound and/or a hydrocarbon, and the presence of the halogenated compound and/or the hydrocarbon in the air stream indicates that a burial site of human remains is below or nearby.
Andrews, Jr.; William H. (Oliver Springs, TN), Thompson; Cyril V. (Knoxville, TN), Vass; Arpad A. (Oak Ridge, TN), Smith; Rob R. (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
11/ 498,705
August 3, 2006
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 between the United States Department of Energy and U.T. Battelle, LLC. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.