What is CHEQUERS about?

First responders rush to the aid of victims of the 7/7 London bombings. A scene of chaos – but has the immediate threat passed? [BBC News]

First responders rush to the aid of victims of the 7/7 London bombings. A scene of chaos – but has the immediate threat passed? [BBC News]

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 again confused and unforgiving scenes.

Our aim

In the CHEQUERS project, we will address this capability by realising two devices, both based around the same core technologies, which draw on the considerable expertise and excellence of the consortium partners.

“The potential application for this technology is huge; the ability for us to detect explosives and chemical warfare agents for the security sector and even potentially catastrophic leaks in the oil and gas industry could save many lives in the future. We’re really excited about this project and are looking forward to seeing it out in the real world. We aim to make this technology widely accessible to a range of emerging markets.”  Nils Hempler, Head of the Innovation Business Unit at M Squared Lasers