Looking for smart options, Herald Sun

Looking for smart options, Herald Sun

LOOKSMART co-founder Martin Hosking is backing home grown technology that vastly improves security screening, land mine clearance and medical imaging.

Mr Hosking — on the look-out for compelling investment opportunities — arrived back in the country from the US three years ago and discovered Melbourne start-up company Southern Innovation. Southern’s signal processing technology had been developed by University of Melbourne Professor Rob Evans and the company’s chief scientist, Paul Scoullar. The computer chip is “plugged in” to existing x-ray and gamma-ray detection systems and improves detection capability by up to 50 times. The technology can reduce the time a patient spends under a PET scanner (used for cancer detection) and cuts the waiting time for the results.

Mr Scoullar developed an interest in gamma ray spectroscopy while travelling in northern Pakistan where he encountered Australian Defence Force personnel who were removing land mines in Afghanistan. “Across a few conversations, I started to learn about some of the primitive technologies that they use for detecting land mines. “This consists of probing the ground with basically a knitting needle to locate the mines,” Mr Scoullar said. He thought there had to be a better solution, so he completed a PhD on a range of sensor technologies for land mine detection. “We looked at gamma ray spectroscopy where you put in a source of energy and get back a spectrum of gamma rays. “That spectrum of gamma rays contains the signature of the land mine, due to the nitrogen explosive.”

by Fleur Leyden

Article courtesy of the Herald Sun – July 22, 2005

About Southern Innovation:
Southern Innovation develops, markets and licenses patented pulse processing technologies for the rapid, accurate detection and measurement of radiation. The company was born out of research to review suitable technologies for the accurate and rapid detection of legacy landmines. Southern Innovation’s multi-award winning SITORO┬« technology provides a quantum leap in the efficiency of radiation detectors, with wide application in areas such as airport baggage screening, oil exploration, mineral analysis and the early detection of cancer. For more information contact info@southerninnovation.com