Airborne Laser-Based Sensor Can Detect IEDs and Hazmat From Standoff Distance

SpectroDrone uses lasers and high-res cameras to detect explosives, IEDs and hazmat.

15 November 2016

SpectroDrone, a sensor system capable of detecting explosives, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other chemical compounds from a safe, standoff distance, will be unveiled at Israel’s HLS & Cyber Expo in Tel Aviv from the 15 to 16 November 2016.

Following extensive testing in the laboratory and in the field, Laser Detect System will unveil SpectroDrone, which utilises LDS’s laser-based explosive detection system. SpectroDrone detects explosives and other hazardous materials in gas, liquid, powder or bulk form, at a distance of several meters from the threat. SpectroDrone can perform such missions over an operational radius of up to 3 km. In addition to the detection of dangerous materials, SpectroDrone can remotely analyse different materials in real time.

At the exhibition, SpectroDrone is displayed integrated on the Airobotics Optimus drone, which is a high capacity multi-mission multi-rotor drone. In this new configuration SpectroDrone automatically detects and analyses explosives materials and IEDs, hazardous compounds and narcotics from a distance, in addition to its surveillance role, thus enhancing situational understanding and real-time response to emergency situations.



 LDS SpectroDrone from Tamir Eshel on Vimeo.

The SpectroDrone payload can also be mounted on ground robots and in fixed operation such as LDS’ SPHERE vehicle inspection systems.

“When running security, emergency or surveillance missions in an industrial environment, the ability to dynamically and swiftly replace payloads, as well as introduce new innovative ones, is a real step forward,” says Ran Krauss, CEO, and co-founder of Airbotics. 
SpectroDrone implements LDS’s patented, laser-based detection technology. The payload comprises multiple electro-optical assemblies comprising a laser source emitting several wavelengths, laser range finder and high-resolution camera—all integrated with state-of-the-art spectrometers, which operate LDS’s software package and proprietary algorithms.

LDS says the algorithm achieves the sensitivity required for remote operation, increasing the probability of accurate detection while reducing false negative and false positive detection rates, bringing detection performance levels to that of laboratory equipment.

Until now, detection techniques required the user to bring the sensor within a few millimetres of the inspected material. However, SpectroDrone employs LDS’s patented stand-off gated laser spectroscopy techniques, which use several laser wavelengths illumination, mainly via ultraviolet (UV) laser. According to LDS, this approach offers advantages in the detection of explosives not available by any other means. The new development has proved to detect a wide range of materials at distances of several meters.

Results are displayed within few seconds on the operator control unit or at the control centre, thus increasing user safety and providing higher efficiency when scanning large areas with remotely operated or autonomous systems.