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


Detection of various improvised explosive devices with help of intelligent analytical sensor technology – the DURCHBLICK project.

In the project DURCHBLICK, EMI is working on the robot-supported implementation of sensor technologies for security forces.
© Fraunhofer EMI

In the project DURCHBLICK, EMI is working on the robot-supported implementation of sensor technologies for security forces.

The bilateral project DURCHBLICK mainly deals with the robot-assisted application of sensor technologies by task forces to examine potential threats. The motivation for the project is the increasing dissemination of instructions for preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the internet and the increasing number of incidents where, because of a suspicious object, for example, a station concourse has to be closed. 

The Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI coordinates this German-Austrian research project.

Test Center for Explosives Detection Systems, operated on behalf of the German Federal Police

The testing and certification of explosives detection systems in a realistic testing environment is essential for security services and end users such as airport operators who require reliable performance data. The selection of the devices used in the aviation security sector, which is based on these results, ensures a uniform security standard throughout Europe.

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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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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