Laser Serration of Envelopes for Efficient Liberation of Enclosed Pathogens and Directed Release into Collectors
The U.S. mail system has proved to be a vulnerable target for sabotage by including a toxic substance in a plain envelope. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has a concept for the efficient extraction of toxic substances from envelopes to increase the probability of detection.
The first is to use a laser drill / air jet to cut a small hole in envelopes while they are going through a standard mail sorter. Edge sensors in the sorter can trigger the laser or it can run in a pulsed mode into a beam dump. The laser is used to put small holes along the bottom of the envelope. When the envelope passes through the first pinch point in the sorter, the holes facilitate the release of any powders, chemicals, spores or particles that are present in the envelope
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