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'CHEQUERS' project to develop explosives detector

04 May 2015

European consortium awarded €3.35 million by EC's H2020 to develop new explosive detection technology.

A new project to develop technology to detect the presence of explosive and hazardous materials has been launched with €3.35million of European funding. A group of European companies and researchers, including laser experts and law enforcement agencies, will collaborate on the CHEQUERS project to create novel technology that will detect the presence of explosive and hazardous materials.

The aim of the project is to provide new anti-terrorism tools for law enforcement agencies, and help health and safety professionals improve industrial safety in situations such as oilrigs and chemical plants.

CHEQUERS project partners include M Squared Lasers, Fraunhofer research organisations IAF and IPMS (Germany), Fraunhofer UK Research, Vigo System (Poland), Bundeskriminalamt (the German Federal Criminal Police Office) and Kite Innovation (UK). Each partner will play a crucial part in the development and rollout of the final applications.

Nils Hempler, Head of the Innovation Business Unit at M Squared Lasers, commented, “The potential application for this technology is huge; the ability for us to detect explosives and chemical warfare agents for the security sector and even potentially catastrophic leaks in the oil and gas industry could save many lives in the future. We aim to make this technology widely accessible to a range of emerging markets.”

Dr. Rasmus Schulte-Ladbeck, Forensic Expert at Bundeskriminalamt said, “The Bundeskriminalamt as partner in an international consortium of the CHEQUERS project will be leading a group of potential end-users from across Europe. Collaboration with these research partners will provide useful and relevant input to support the development of practicable and user-friendly devices, which CHEQUERS seeks to create.”

Starting from May 2015, the CHEQUERS project will run for 42 months, is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Information and Communications Technologies call (agreement No 645535), the objective of which is “to sustain Europe's industrial competitiveness and leadership in photonic market sectors and to exploit new and emerging market opportunities.”

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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