Washington-based Nuclear Solutions Inc. (NSOL) announced that it was awarded a US patent for technology it is developing to detect shielded nuclear weapons. The patent covers a detection technique based on semiconductor-laser mode hopping, triggered by the gravitational interaction with high specific-density nuclear materials. NSOL said its approach appears to have the potential to improve significantly on gravitational gradiometry techniques previously developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Maryland and The Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "This newly allowed patent positions NSOL to pursue funding opportunities and subsequent commercialization of the technology on a more aggressive schedule. We have invested over four years developing this concept. We feel a great deal of satisfaction that our efforts have come to fruition," said NSOL President and CEO Patrick Herda.