Block Engineering Named Prism Awards Finalist for LaserScan(TM) Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometers

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Block Engineering, a developer of Quantum Cascade Laser-based spectrometers, has been named a finalist in the 2010 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. The Prism Awards is an international competition sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE to recognize photonics products that break conventional ideas, solve problems and improve life through the generation and harnessing of light.

"LaserScan(TM) is a revolutionary portable product that can analyze samples at a distance with high sensitivity using infrared spectroscopy," said Adam Erlich, VP of Marketing and Business Development of Block Engineering. "We are proud that the Prism Awards has recognized our innovative product that has applications not only in defense and security, but also in other markets that require analyzing a material or sensing contamination at a distance." Block Engineering's new LaserScan spectrometer helped to position Block as a finalist in the Prism Defense and Security division. LaserScan is a widely tunable mid-infrared spectrometer that detects substances on surfaces from a standoff distance of 6 inches to 2 feet. LaserScan can be used to detect explosive materials, traditional and nontraditional chemical agents and toxic industrial chemicals.

Petros Kotidis, CEO of Block Engineering, commented, "I am very pleased to receive the Prism Awards Finalists nomination and I would like to thank the committee for the recognition and validation of the significance and market impact of our LaserScan product family." The finalists for the Prism awards were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts.

LaserScan diagram: LaserScan product information: About Block Engineering: Founded in 1956, Block Engineering is a leading developer of high performance QCL and FT-IR spectrometers for chemical detection and analysis to military, government, commercial, and industrial customers. Its Mobile Chemical Agent Detector (MCAD) system, in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation, and, PORTHOS(TM), a portable FT-IR spectrometer system, remotely detect chemical threats as far as 3 miles and protect against chemical warfare agents and weapons of mass destruction. Following this success, Block has applied its extensive knowledge of spectroscopy and chemical detection towards the commercialization of its high performance QCL based spectrometers. In addition, Block is developing a revolutionary MEMS-based, miniaturized spectrometer, the ChemPen(TM), which is a low cost, FTIR chemical gas detector the size of a fountain pen.

Block Engineering is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, visit or contact Adam Erlich at (508) 251-3100.

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