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Published On: Thu, Jan 7th, 2016

Real Time Scanning Through Suitcases and Bombs

Excitement, panic: One unclaimed baggage is available at the station. Is it a bomb? In the future, a robot of explosives experts to assist in their dangerous work. Off to see safe distance through controlled and capable by the case.

Usually it is although such unclaimed baggage only forgotten suitcases, bags and backpacks. Sometimes however there is more behind it with explosive force. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for high-frequency physics and radar techniques FHR in Wachtberg now developed a robot with integrated sensor unit. Scans the content of such baggage in 3D.

Real Time Scanning Through Suitcases and Bombs

A suspicious slate is checked for explosives. In the future a robot well-stocked with technology will take over first of all this dangerous task, which can be controlled from a safe distance and provides 3D images of the Interior of the object to be examined.

With the so-called sensor suite can be determined rapidly whether linen and co. or an improvised explosive and fire device (IED). “IEDs Inspector” in  North Rhine-Westphalia, which work with the Leibniz Hannover University, ELP enterprises and Hamilton system project. In addition to researchers from Wachtberg.

Trio of scanner, digital camera and 3D projectors

The sensor suite consists of a millimeter wave scanner (radar sensor), a high-resolution digital camera and a 3D projectors, which are mounted on a robotic platform. The forces can control the robot from a safe distance. Swivel 3D sensors measured the fact or location three-dimensionally, the digital camera delivers high-resolution images for the future optical evidence. So far, the specialists were often forced to destroy the suitcase bombs, which complicates the identification of the perpetrators.

The millimeter wave sensor light on the potential hazard and depicts the Interior. The PC integrated in the robot collects this data and sends it to the investigators. There, they are evaluated and added together to an overall picture.

A robot could shine through in the future first robots will auto-scan suspicious luggage.

A robot could shine through in the future first robots will auto-scan suspicious luggage.

Sensor suite can be used also in trains

Thanks to this multi-modal Assembly has a fast and comprehensive classification of the dangerous situation. In addition, the non-contact detection system is lightweight, compact and platform-independent. The sensor system can be mounted on any any robot and can be used also in trains.

Bomb parts in 3D visible

“Existing procedures are not three-dimensional represent suitcase nukes, a spatial mapping of the contents is not or only conditionally possible. With the sensor suite we can three-dimensionally visualize the Interior of a piece of luggage and find the bomb consists of what parts and how they are arranged in the luggage”, Stefan A. explained lang, team leader of the FHR and co-ordinator of the program “Research for Civil Security”.

With Two Million Euro, the German Federal Research Ministry promotes the project.

A demonstrator of the radar sensor is completed in April 2016. Extensive testing of the remote sensor suite start mid-2017. On the market, it comes in 2019.