Welcome to the AirBorneMineScan project
We are an innovative small enterprise engaged in cooperation with other European SMEs and research institutions in the development of a new airborne remote sensing technology. The technology combines for the first time ever the use of genetically engineered fluorescent whole-cell live biosensors and scanning airborne or ground based laser technology.
Flown over wide areas our technology is capable to quickly detect and geo-reference with an extremely high precision trace substances on the ground.
Trace substances are detected by live biosensors which can be spread over large areas of interest using crop duster planes. Once settled on the ground these biosensors immediately start to interact with such trace substances they were designed to detect.
Upon detection of a specific trace substance the live biosensors use their moleculare machinery to produce massive amounts of fluorescent proteins in their cell envelopes. This production of fluorescent proteins works as a very powerful biological amplification of an otherwise very weak signal available from a trace substance.
In a following step the fluorescent proteins in active biosensors are excited with monochromatic light and respond by emitting fluorescent light of a defined wavelength. Excitation is done using an airborne or ground based scanning laser system emitting ultra short laser pulses of a wavelength matching the fluorescent proteins built in the biosensors.
This process results in the conversion and further amplification of an already strong but still extremely short ranged biological signal into a now
long ranged optical signal. This signal is powerful enough to be detected from the air in full flight over large areas with a very high spatial resolution.
The high spatial resolution is possible because an airborne laser system is not only used to excite fluorescent light in biosensors but also
to instantaneously detect and geo-reference with extreme accuracy that fluorescent light,
thereby yielding the position of activated biosensors on the ground. Positions of biosensors emitting fluorescent light are automatically integrated into a high resolution Digital Elevation Model
(DEM) which in itself has the functionality of a Geographical Information System (GIS).
Targeted applications of our new remote sensing technology are the airborne and therefore standoff and safe detection of landmines, cluster munitions, UXO and IEDs as they all are constantly leaking traces of explosive (AirBorneMineScan - ABMS).
We estimate that in a ground based variant our technology could become the first system capable to detect IEDs from stand off distances outside the potential blast radii of IEDs.
A further application using a different biosensor construct will be the airborne detection of sources of ionizing radiation on the ground -
including Alpha and Beta sources (AirBornRadiationDetection - ABRAD).
Last but not least we see a very promising application in the wide area frontier exploration of oil and gas deposits.
Future work should be directed towards the wide area detection of biological and chemical warfare agents using again a different biosensor construct but the
same underlying principles. With respect to upcoming EU security research calls which will likely deal also with the early detection of CBRN events and pandemics as significant health threats
we are ready to discuss cooperations with interested parties.
Our technology is currently under development in cooperation with various European research and development partners. Proof of our concept has
recently been reached in Germany within a government funded research project called L.A.S.E.R.