Explosive detection technology gets cash boost

Almost £2m will be injected into a new European project to defeat explosive threats through enhanced detection technologies.

A group of European companies and researchers, including laser experts and enforcement agencies are rolling out a project to develop technology that detects explosive and hazardous materials.

The Chequers project will design highly sensitive, handheld and tripod-mounted instruments based on active hyper-spectral imaging and detection. The tools will allow rapid stand-off detection of toxic materials related to terrorist attacks or industrial accidents. 

Nils Hempler, head of the Innovation Business Unit at M Squared Lasers, said: “The potential application for this technology is huge; the ability for us to detect explosives and chemical warfare agents for the security sector and even potentially catastrophic leaks in the oil and gas industry could save many lives in the future.”

It is expected the outcome of the project will provide new anti-terrorism tools for law enforcement agencies, but may also help improve safety on oil rigs and chemical plants.

The Chequers project will take three and a half years to complete and is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 ‘Information and Communication Technologies’ call.

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