Project Concept


The project aims to deliver a cost-effective LIT MS detector there are a number of sub-systems (LIT, ionisation, sample inlet, vacuum system, software and packaging) which require, considerable research effort to develop and optimise the solution while maintaining a focus towards a portable and cost effective device.

To meet future security challenges an artificial sniffer package similarly must be small foot print, light weight and low cost - but essentially easy-to-use for non-expert users. Currently available MS software is often complex requiring a scientific background, thus a simple user-friendly software interface needs to be developed into order to give clear threat detection within a few seconds, while continuously processing inlet samples.

In order to be successful within a border control setting, the operating procedures of the linear ion trap mass spectroscopy system needs to be carefully considered, including; operation procedures, gas loadings, integration of novel sub-system technologies, space constraints and portability and ergonomic design. Ultimately the device needs to perform within this environment, be easy to operate by non-technical end users and show identical or superior () detection. The end system will be used to complement sniffer dog's detection teams.

To address all of the above we need a range of expert R&D expertise in:

  • MS using 3D ion traps,
  • MS miniaturisation,
  • MS operation both inside and outside of laboratory conditions,
  • Ion creation and optics/dynamics,
  • Miniature vacuum solutions, based around Getter pumps,
  • Device system integration,
  • DLP manufacturing to provide suitable ion trap geometry
  • Software, which is both fit for purpose (rapid identification of threat signatures) and adapted to the needs of the security users of the artificial sniffer.
  • Design and implementation of border control security systems