ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A member of the state legislature and lab tech at Sandia National Laboratories is working on a device that could detect a dangerous substance used by terrorists.
The small device will pinpoint possible anthrax contamination and that is just the beginning.
The tiny device has been about a year and a half in the making.
Its about four credit cards thick, will go for roughly $3 a piece and will be super easy to use.
"Ever since 9-11 it's just become a high priority to watch out for people who might want to do harm to the U.S. or to you know families here," Jason Harper with Sandia Labs said.
Just after 9-11 letters containing anthrax were sent to multiple politicians and it is a scare that is still happing.
Just last week, letters laced with the poison ricin were sent to president Obama and a U.S. senator.
While initial tests showed the letters had ricin, it took several days for confirmation.
Sandia Lab Tech Jason Harper says his device will let people know immediately.
Harper also says it will be a helpful tool for farmers.
Anthrasis, the bug anthrax comes from, can be found in grass or dirt and infects animals when ingested.
"This will be another tool that the farmer and laboratories can use together and decrease the threat of these harmful agents making it outside in various," Harper said.
The Department of Energy funded Harper's project, which he hopes will be put to good use.
"I'm just excited to see something that may actually get out there and make a big difference in the world," Harper said.
Harper says the device won't be ready for another two to three years.
At that point, the plan is to send it to use in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Southeast Asia and North Africa.
The device self-destructs after testing and can withstand extreme heat or cold temperatures.
It will be field tested in Afghanistan in the next year.
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