Project title:

Detection of human signatures to detect smuggling (DHS-AS)

In the project "Detection of human signatures to detect smuggling" (DHS-AS) a portable prototype for the detection of trace gases released through skin, breath or other excretion will be advanced and optimized. .In addition, the device can visualize with the help of an infrared camera the person-generated heat even in the dark. The aim of the project is to identify a typical signal pattern of the detected volatile compounds with the portable device, similarly like a dog that can detect the smell of buried people with his nose. According to the latest research findings compounds belonging to the group of aldehydes, such as hexanal, octanal, nonanal are released from human skin but also detectable in urine, thus they contribute to the individual human scent.In current KIRAS project targeted detection of this substance group will be investigated in addition to the existing gas measurements. Beside volatile substances originating from other sources such as fragrances and air pollutants should be filtered out. Since the device has a modular design, the integration of additional sensors and communication modules is possible at any time. In the proposed project the expansion of the capacity of the gas measurements is now planned by the expansion of the gas sensor system with an electrochemical sensor specific for aldehyde detection.The development of gas sensors that achieve a good selectivity for a specific compounds or substance group and at the same time allow a sensitive detection of the substances in the trace range (ppb, parts per billion, 1 particles within 1 billion), represents a major challenge.A newly developed aldehyde sensor provided by the partner company Ionicon Analytik GmbH will be advanced for integration into the prototype, characterized and tested with gas mixtures of selected aldehydes and cofounder compounds (cross-sensitivity check). The prototype will be trained with the help of measurements of human samples (urine, breath, sweat, etc.), in experiments involving volunteers. Measurements of surrounding air and cofounder compounds, such as air pollutants and fragrances will be also investigated. Comparative measurements will be carried out with other gas analytical methods such as proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.The prototype developed will be validated in field trials together with the partners BM.I and AEI and optimized for future connectivity to current systems. The extension of the control and data analysis on smartphones and tablets is planned.The project aims to extend the strengthens the effectiveness of search operations with the help of the developed ultra-modern detection system by capturing human traces enabling to find people earlier and more easily who are hidden and transported by tugs.