Border security is one of the key security challenges to be taken up by Europe in the following years. In particular, the deployment of practical efficient means to detect hidden persons and illegal substances at border crossing points is instrumental in avoiding terrorism, human trafficking or smuggling.
The DOGGIES (Detection of Olfactory traces by orthoGonal Gas identification technologIES) project aims at demonstrating:
- An operational movable stand alone sensor for an efficient detection of hidden persons, drugs & explosives.
- The potential adaptation of this solution for the detection of a much wider range of illegal substances.
The project addresses trace detection: it relies on the combination of two technologies based on completely different physical principles, therefore qualified as “orthogonal”:
- Mid-Infrared spectroscopy technology, based on photoacoustic detection, which appears as the most powerful and promising to detect a very wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); developments within DOGGIES will mainly target the demonstration of a widely tuneable integrated MIR source coupled with a miniature photoacoustic gas cell;
- Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) technology, more mature; developments within DOGGIES will mainly target the use of non radio-active ionisation source.
One of the main operational challenges is to provide reliable detection in real environments, in particular with the presence of “interferents”. It is expected that the use of specific pre-concentrators on one hand, and the combination of the signal emerging from these “orthogonal technologies” by advanced software on the other hand will improve the detection reliability.
This project is supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.