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Advanced portable system for explosive agents sampling, detection and analysis

Creation of an extremely sensitive and reliable portable system to detect and analyse explosives agents for areas in danger of terrorist attack (e.G. Air transport, nuclear power plants), based on laser technologies.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE In the present world situation, when air transport, nuclear power plants, places with high concentrations of people and many other civil targets are in danger of terrorist attack, security departments around the globe are seeking a sensitive, reliable, explosives detector/analyser. According to our studies, supported by the knowledge of U.K., U.S.A. and French security experts, there are some portable products which offer explosives detection but, in general, the probabilities of detection are low, the false alarm rates are high and they do not have the necessary operational robustness. RS DYNAMICS LTD, the main project applicant (principal investigator), being an internationally based company, has been intensively involved in this R&D task for more than two years. We also have more then 10 year's experience in R&D and manufacture of various scientific instruments and technologies, mainly using technologies that are at the top levels of current technology and, very often, bringing new scientific analytical and operating principles. We have tested all of the physically existing analytical detectors that are currently used for portable explosive agents detection/analysis. Some of them offer good detection capabilities (e.g. Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)), but are usually so sensitive to various ambient disturbances that it makes it very difficult, sometimes impossible, to use them under real field conditions. It is clear that a new technological approach is required. The requirements for a new system are extremely demanding. It is also quite different when demonstrating detection performance in the laboratory, which has extremely clean conditions, a stable environment and highly educated analytical staff. The new, successful system for real field applications (airport, border crossing, police actions, outdoor security services, nuclear power plants) must offer extreme operational robustness; extreme resistance to various field chemical and other disturbances; ability to be operated by a simply trained person; and excellent capability to detect even the smallest traces of explosive agents on the background of strong chemical disturbances, like engine exhausts, perfumes and many others. All these requirements lead to several important stages in the project: a) Definition of the system operating procedure: 1. Advanced sampling, able to catch the smallest traces of target substances (explosives) and able to reject common interfering substances. 2. Advanced pre-concentration of the sample, to remove interfering substances in a more effective way and preferentially concentrate the explosives. 3. New detection/analytical technology offering intelligent separation of explosives from other compounds and improved separation of various target substances from each other. 4. Intelligent signal processing able to extract the "wanted signal" from the background noise level and able to use and continuously improve its own database, by recording the occurrence of explosives in various backgrounds and with various interfering substances. 5. Intelligent evaluation of measured and processed data to determine whether explosives are present. b) Determination of the best principle for sampling, pre-concentration and analysis based on extensive experiments with targets substances and interfering substances. c) Creation of two evaluation models, using two different operating principles. d) Evaluation of results, selection of the principle to be used. e) Construction of models for laboratory and field-testing. f) Construction of several prototypes for field use and testing. g) Testing of prototypes under real conditions and by real customers. h) Evaluation of results, modifying prototypes, software. i) Preparation of serial manufacture (expensive portion). j) U.K., E.U. and U.S. Certification of the new product. CERTIFICATION The output product of the new project needs a specific E.U., U.S. and NATO certification, to be accepted by a demanding security market. The process of professional certification will contain: 1. Development of test protocols - discussions with international regulators and at conferences. 2. Design test equipment and facilities including assessment of different standard tests e.g. dilute solutions of each target substance at different concentrations. 3. Try out test protocols against available bench-top hardware. 4. Consultation contacts with international regulators. 5. Testing of first phase prototypes. 6. Adjusting protocols and test facilities as required. 7. Final test sequences in lab and operational sites in Europe. 8. Maintaining contacts with regulators and users. MARKETING RS DYNAMICS has already developed a worldwide distribution network able to provide world product distribution, professional support, training, maintenance and service. In this project, in addition to building a well-trained network of business partners, we will concentrate on the professional training of business partners and attending relevant international conferences and exhibitions. Keywords: explosive detection, laser technologies, signal processing.
Acronym: 
EXPLOSIVES ANALYSER
Project ID: 
3 109
Start date: 
01-01-2004
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
760 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Laser Technology
Market Area: 
Security

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