COMPACT HIGH PERFORMANCE QUANTUM CASCADE LASER SENSORS (CHEQUERS)
Duration: 01/03/2015 – 28/02/2019
Overall budget: EUR 3,325,668.00
EU contribution: EUR 3,325,668.00
Project consortium: M‐Squared Laser Limited (United Kingdom), Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (Germany), Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany), Fraunhofer UK Research Limited (United Kingdom), VIGO System S.A. (Poland), Bundeskriminalamt (Germany), Kite Innovation (Europe) Limited (United Kingdom)
CHEQUERS will develop two different types of active hyperspectral, real‐time and standoff imaging systems for the civil safety and security markets, both of which will employ the same fundamental detection principles.
The first one of the two systems will be a portable device, catering for need of early responders and frontline personnel for an easily deployable tool capable of detecting a wide range of threats using a single device. The second imaging system that destined for the surveillance of larger areas. This system will only be marginally larger (shoe‐box sized) with a form factor that will easily allow mounting the system on a tripod. This increase in size will, however, give the opportunity to utilise more complex components, which will greatly enhance the systems standoff and detection limits.
- Develop low‐cost portable sensors for civil security applications
- Create state‐of‐the‐art QCL and MEMS technology
- Couple with industry‐leading optoelectronic and system integration
- Provide versatile spectral sensing capabilities in the MWIR
- Develop high‐volume civil security markets
- Develop cooperative pan‐European supply chains
- Maintain focus with strong industrial leadership
- Engage with interested end‐users from conception to exploitation.
In a world where explosive, toxic or otherwise lethal substances are, sadly, no longer restricted to theatres of war, but are becoming increasingly common in civilian areas (encountered either by misfortune or misadventure), the ability to detect and identify hazardous chemicals and compounds quickly, easily and at significant range is highly attractive. Even after a terrorist attack has occurred, significant danger still exists from the threat of further concealed devices, thus significantly impeding the rendering of aid whilst the scene is declared safe. Whilst there has been significant investment in sensor technology to address this need, no single solution has yet been demonstrated which can fulfil the often conflicting needs of high sensitivity, speed, low cost, ease of use, portability and the ability to detect and identify multiple target molecular compounds against confused and unforgiving scenes. In the CHEQUERS project, deals with this topic by realizing two devices, both based on the same core technologies, which draw on the considerable expertise and excellence of the consortium partners. Crucially, we will be guided by and work civil security services and in so doing work towards realizing utile, field‐deployable (TRL 7) instruments within the time frame of this project. Our commitment to this goal is evident from the inclusion of a steering group within our consortium, composed of an international panel representing potential end users of this technology.
VIGO System’s participation:
VIGO System is responsible for development of the optimized detectors and designing dedicated electronics for fast, low noise amplification of detector signals.
Companies associated in the consortium:
- M‐SQUARED LASERS LIMITED (United Kingdom)
- FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED SOLID STATE PHYSICS (Germany)
- FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE FOR PHOTONIC MICROSYSTEMS (Germany)
- FFRAUNHOFER UK RESEARCH LIMITED (United Kingdom)
- VIGO SYSTEM S.A. (Poland)
- BUNDESKRIMINALAMT (Germany)
- KITE INNOVATION (EUROPE) LIMITED (United Kingdom)