A device created at a British university could provide an answer to safeguarding the public from explosive devices.
ExDtect – the brainchild of Loughborough University professor John Tyrer – can identify tiny amounts of explosive particles invisible to the naked eye.
Using complex laser technology it can remotely scan vehicles, cargo and crowded areas, such as airports, train stations and sports stadiums, automatically alerting an operator if it detects traces of explosives and accurately pinpointing its location.
The system is non-invasive, works in real time and is designed to cause no delays to the public or businesses. It is fully automated and the images produced are no more controversial than those generated by CCTV.
ExDtect will soon be used to scan cargo for an international courier, and discussions are taking place with several other international organizations which are also keen to use the technology.
Professor Tyrer, from the University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, created the device along with colleagues from the Department of Chemistry.
“Sadly it seems inevitable now that we are going to see more and more terrorist attacks like those we recently witnessed in Brussels,” said Professor Tyrer. “And had our device been in operation at Brussels Airport I firmly believe those terrorists would have been identified and prevented from entering the terminal.”
“When you handle an explosive, the chemicals and various constituent components present, leave traces on your fingers and clothes, and are transmitted to anything you touch. Using some of the laser technology that we have invented here at Loughborough over the past few years, we have been able to create a device that can see the explosives and reject all other materials."