MyDefence and AAU develop Terahertz technology for IED detection

This project will take the last decade of innovations within Terahertz spectroscopy and bring it in to the future, where detection of explosives at a safe distance, can be used to prevent terror attacks and save lives.

The Innovation Fund Denmark has decided to fund the project between the physicists at Aalborg University and the MyDefence R&D team, with 6.1 million Danish Kroner (0.8 million EUR).

“Explosives like those used in Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) have a unique “fingerprint” signature which can be clearly identified using terahertz spectroscopy. So far, the equipment for terahertz spectroscopy has been too bulky and fragile for out-of-the-lab applications, or has been limited to measurements at distances of a few meters or less. Together with Aalborg University, we have found a way to produce a portable terahertz spectroscopy device that, when realized, will allow us to detect explosives at safe standoff distances, says, Christian Steinø, CEO of MyDefence.

Terahertz waves are absorbed in water vapor, which causes a number of challenges, one being detection range. This is especially true, when you want the technology to detect hidden explosives in real-world settings. The device must be able to work at far enough distance to, for instance, be able to give a driver on a vehicle enough warning to react on explosives detected on the ground ahead of him. The experience of the Optics and Spectroscopy research group at Aalborg University, together with the knowledge and skills of the former military officers and engineers at MyDefence, is just the right mix of competencies needed, to innovate this truly revolutionary technology.

“A few years ago, MyDefence contacted the physicists at Aalborg University, and presented us with their vision of detecting explosives using terahertz radiation. Christian Steinø and Dan Hermansen had some innovative ideas, and their experience from fighter plane radar technology and anti-drone RF technology, was just the right complement to our expertise in optics and spectroscopy. Together we came up with a good solution”. Says, Esben Skovsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Materials and Production.

The 3-years and 3 months project will include a number of field trials, live test, enhancements of identification algorithms, and a close cooperation with the researchers of Aalborg University.

The Innovation Fund Investment:

6 million DKK.

Total project budget:

8 million DKK.

Project duration:

3 years and 3 months

Official project title:

Detection of explosives using terahertz radiation at improved standoff- distances (DETRIS)

DETRIS news stream

30 Oct 17

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