Indra's CES Projects a National R&D Initiative for Explosive Detection Development

Indra's Centre of Excellence for Security Systems (CES) in Leon is leading the Detection systems of Explosives in Centres and Public Infrastructures (SEDUCE) project, which is promoted by the R&D CENIT program. It seeks to develop the knowledge and the necessary technology to guarantee detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in centers and public infrastructures such as ports, airports, trains and metro stations.

The initiative, with a budget of more than US$26 million, has been presented by Indra's Director of Innovation José Luis Angoso to more than 50 experts from different parts of Spain. The event took place at the National Communications Technology Institute (Inteco). The Director of the CES in Leon, Antonio González Gorostiza; the Vice Chancellor for Research at The University of León, Alberto José Villena Cortés; the Head of the Project Control Division of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), Jose Rivillas; and Inteco's Secretary General, Fernando Gutiérrez also attended the event.

SEDUCE includes the study of potential locations and risks as well as the validation and integration of the necessary detection technologies so that the security corporate receive all the information they might need to operate. The project started in 2008 and will conclude by the end of 2011.

The consortium led by CES consists of a variety of industrial partners and cooperative entities besides Indra, for instance: Arquimea, Alfa Imaging, Gate, Autoridad Portuaria de Valencia, Das Photonics, ISDEFE, Metro de Madrid, Multiscan Technologies and Ramen. The project will also receive the support of several technology centers and universities such as the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the Technical University of Madrid, the University of Valladolid, Carlos III University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Puertos Del Estado, ADIF, AENA and others will participate as outside observers and potential users.

The project addresses detection of a variety of materials and activation mechanisms of IEDs. Industrial material (for instance: dynamite used in public works and mines) and military or homemade explosives which hide behind common objects to escape detection, are employed in their fabrication. Other elements like shrapnel are added to make the device lethal once it explodes.

This way, the work is oriented to the design of a set of technologies whose combination allows a specialized detection capacity according to the environment or type of infrastructure. Different techniques and approaches allow detection of traces (microscopic wastes) or large quantities of explosive material. The study of environments along with technologies, allows customization and combination according to the characteristics and nature of the threat in each type of environment: ports, airports, metro or train stations.

SEDUCE integrates several technologies such as differential mobility analyzer, capable of detecting explosive particles in the air by analyzing the mobility of ions; and the LIBS spectroscopy, which captures the signal of the breakdown (atoms) after high-power laser excitation. It also includes technologies based on chemiluminescent markers (particles which emit light when in contact with explosives); millimeter waves (to detect explosives hidden in clothes from over 25-30 meters) or advanced X-ray platforms and detection of radioactivity.
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