Security and Protection – Sniffer devices detect hazardous substance

Sensors can detect tiny amounts of explosives in water, air or soil, and immediately sound the alarm when they discover contaminants in drinking water. They are also used at airports or train stations to detect explosive substances. The aim is to inconvenience passengers as little as possible in the future during check in. To help with this, new body scanners have been developed.

Sicherheit und Vorsorge


Inspecting letters with terahertz waves

Is it a harmless parcel or a bomb, an innocent letter or a drug shipment? A new terahertz scanner is capable of detecting illicit drugs and explosives sent by post without having to open suspicious packages or envelopes.

Gas sensors sound the smoldering fire alarm

As the stars twinkle in the sky high above the house, people lie sleeping in their beds. It’s just an ordinary night – and yet, on this night, the slumberers’ lives are at stake: A cable is smoldering away and poisonous carbon monoxide spreads unnoticed through the room. The smoke detector doesn’t sound the alarm because it responds only to smoke, which is not always produced in a smoldering fire. In short, the room’s occupants are in great danger.

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Water monitoring in real time

© Fraunhofer IOSB

Drinking water quality is strictly monitored, but only with regular random checks. Research scientists in the AquaBioTox project have developed a system that can monitor drinking water constantly in real time and warn of toxic substances in just minutes. The key aspect of the system is that the water is “tasted” by a biosensor, which tests a sample of drinking water that has been siphoned off from the main supply.

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MIRIFISENS – Detecting hazardous substances with quantum cascade lasers

Contaminated air in an aircraft’s cabin can endanger both passengers and crew. As part of an EU project, researchers are developing optical sensors capable not only of detecting traces of hazardous materials, but also of recognizing explosives.

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Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security

Fraunhofer institutes have joined together in this group to coordinate and implement their research activities in defense and security.

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