Detecting explosives with Eye on Air

When Koen Bosman started out four years ago as lead engineer at spin-off Eye on Air he had 3 colleagues. Meanwhile, 16 enthusiastic technicians now share their knowledge in the office and lab at the Gallery in Enschede. The goal? To become the best when it comes to explosive detection-equipment.

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Eager to learn entrepreneurs

“When I graduated from electrical engineering and started looking for a job, I noticed that with a lot of positions I missed interaction. Conducting research all alone in a room wasn’t a challenge to me. At  Eye on Air  that was completely different from the start; I work on lots of different disciplines and or team, that has quadrupled in the past two years, is very diverse. Most of the colleagues have, just like me, graduated from the University of Twente and Saxion and we share the passion for entrepreneurship, an ‘eager to learn’-attitude and interested in a wide spectrum of disciplines. Because we also share a room, ideas are continuously exchanged. We continuously complement each other, allowing us to further develop our technology as well.”

New kid on the block

“We are the new kid on the block in the world of explosives detection. Our competitors consist of big players that have been active in the sector for years. Step one is showing the market what we are capable of: being able to develop a device that meets all demands and can be deployed at the airport. That’s how far we’ve already come. We work closely together with Schiphol Airport. Within this partnership, we have been given space to test and integrate any wished by Schiphol into our technology. Our first products have predominantly led to a faster screening of passengers and their luggage. Where we, as Eye on Air, will make a difference is with our next application: a handheld explosive-detector. The existing detection-equipment is hard to relocate and is therefore bound to its security checks. With a handheld explosive-detector this security application can be deployed in a wider area.”

A combination of technologies

How does that explosive-detection actually work? “When hand luggage is taken out during the security check at an airport, they test several things. They will, for example, go through your suitcase with a kind of stick with a layer of aluminium to which any traces of explosives will stick. That sample will be analysed. The current equipment is still quite inert. We have developed our own sensor, as well as the other components of our equipment resulting in coming up with a compact explosive detection-device. The basis of this detection-technology was originally thought of by the founders of Eye on Air, who were working at the University of Twente at the time.”

Date: 19 May 2017
Source of tekst: Eye on Air
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: Eye on Air

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Detecting explosives with Eye on Air