Defence forces and Irish Universities use drones to help prepare for potential 'dirty bomb' attack in Dublin

The exercise at the air base was testing how first responders, emergency workers and forensic specialists would respond to such a scenario.

Irish universities have teamed up with the Irish Defence Forces to develop drones to help save lives in a terrorist "dirty bomb" attack on Dublin.

The Irish military has said that a new EU funded research project that includes the Defence Forces , NUI Galway, the Tyndall Institute and other members, is set to revolutionise how chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threats are dealt with.

The new initiative will help to minimise the risk to the lives of crime scene investigators in “dirty bomb” type scenarios.

A dirty bomb is a radioactive laced conventional bomb that spreads contaminated particles across the area where it exploded. Experts have said it could make a city uninhabitable.

The project received €4.78m in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme and recently passed a mid- term review that authorises their work to continue for another 18 months.

The project uses robots and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to help minimise the risk to operators while collecting critical clues and preserving the chain of custody.

The University groups and other partners are working closely with the world renowned Defence Forces Ordnance Corps, who are experts in the area of bomb disposal.

University College Cork's Tyndall Institute, Robotic specialists Reamda based in Kerry are also working on the project.

Lieutenant Colonel Ray Lane, The Defence Forces lead officer on the project believes the project will revolutionise how international forces deal with the threat.

He said: ‘This project will fundamentally change how we deal with a CBRN scenario, minimising the risk to life while maximising the use of technology, both robots and UAVs. The result of this project will be a significantly enhanced capability in this area.”

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