Nanomaterials are already part of everyday life in our modern society. New applications, along with continuously rising quantities being produced, have led to an increased exposure to nanomaterials for both people and the environment. Predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in organisms a ... more
Sniffing out terrorists
A new intelligent system has been developed to help identify terrorists carrying explosives. Sensitive electronic noses capture the smell of the explosives; the system processes the acquired data, correlates it with individuals’ movements … and ultimately tracks down the suspects.
Literally hundreds of people are hurrying through the long airport corridor between Terminals A and B. Among them are two terrorists, who’ve hidden themselves in the crowd. They’re carrying small containers of chemicals in their jacket pockets, individual components for an explosive. But there’s something the criminals don’t know. As well as being observed by security cameras, they’re also being “sniffed out” by chemical noses hidden in the corridor wall. The smell sensors sound the alarm when the terrorists walk past, alerting an airport security guard who notes the problem on his monitoring equipment. At this point in time, he can’t tell precisely who is carrying hazardous chemicals – but he knows the sensor network will continue to “sniff out” and track down the suspects.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE in Wachtberg have built a prototype security system to replicate just such a scenario. They’ve named it HAMLeT, which stands for Hazardous Material Localization and Person Tracking. “HAMLeT will alert security personnel to suspicious individuals,” says head of department Dr. Wolfgang Koch from the FKIE. The system involves a network of highly-sensitive smell sensors which follow an explosive’s trail. There are oscillating crystals on the sensor chips, and whenever the electronic noses capture chemical molecules, their oscillation frequency changes. The precise nature of the change is different for different substances. A further component in the system – the sensor’s data fusion function – traces the explosive’s path and ferrets out the carrier. A second sensor network is needed to track the route the individual takes; for this, the researchers have used laser scanners. “HAMLeT’s real achievement is its ability to collate all the data and convert it into a clear and accurate overall picture,” says Koch. The sensor data fusion process employs complex algorithms which allow HAMLeT to build up a precise image of pedestrian flows and connect a particular smell with a specific individual.
In a trial involving the German Armed Forces, researchers at the FKIE proved the system’s ability to track down five “terrorists” carrying hidden explosives. The scientists are now working to refine the prototype’s algorithms in order to reduce the false alarm rate.
“Clean Multipurpose Cover” is the world’s first flexible cleanroom system The smallest degree of contamination can lead to major quality issues across many industries. Should, for example, any impurities occur on microchips, space probes and lenses, this can lead to defects or faulty end d ... more
Sun rays damage unprotected skin. Substances in medications or lotions applied to the skin can be chemically modified by sun rays to have a toxic effect on the body. An accredited in-vitro test method at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart measures the phototoxic potential of substances or cosmetic ... more
A new intelligent system has been developed to help identify terrorists carrying explosives. Sensitive electronic noses capture the smell of the explosives; the system processes the acquired data, correlates it with individuals’ movements … and ultimately tracks down the suspects. Literall ... more
- 1AddLife Acquires Biolin Scientific AB
- 2High-precision magnetic field sensing
- 3Images of NMDA receptors help explain how they are affected by zinc and a drug
- 4First structural map of cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause disease
- 5Sniffing like a dog can improve trace detection of explosives
- 6NovogeneAIT Singapore and the Genome Institute of Singapore forge Public-Private Partnership
- 7For the first time, scientists catch water molecules passing the proton baton
- 8New link discovered between class of rogue autoantibodies and poor health outcomes
- 9Opening the Way to Mobile Olfaction with Nanomechanical Sensors
- 10Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
- Novel label-free microscopy enables dynamic, high-resolution imaging of cell ...
- Dipole orientation: New dimension in super-resolution microscopy
- Structure of CCR9 chemokine receptor solved
- NovogeneAIT Singapore and the Genome Institute of Singapore forge Public-Pri ...
- Family member with special connections