Project Objectives


The Sniffles Project has the potential to have a significant impact on National security and border control and enable exploitation of International markets. A successful project outcome will demonstrate an automated portable MS-based sniffer instrument, tested and evaluated for a range of security applications and markets by end-users.

Based on these R&D requirements - the following objectives have been developed for the SNIFFLES project, the completion of which will enable the development of a cutting edge mobile artificial sniffer:

System Objectives:

  • To design, simulate, build and validate through field testing, an artificial sniffer with the ability to sense a wide range of substances.
  • To provide a portable, easy-to-use device through integration of various technologies being developed across the EU (LIT, Vacuum system, methods of Ionisation).
  • To be able to detect the specified threats/substances rapidly and continuously, with stand-off capability.
  • The portable system will fit inside a briefcase sized holdall of dimensions 40 cm x 30 cm x 10 cm and will have an operational weight < 8kg.

Sub-System Objectives:

  • Ion trap objectives: small, lightweight and low cost, yet capable of achieving the required mass range (2000 Da), resolution (<1 Da) and high sensitivity.
  • Sample inlet: able to accept all vapours and solids of interest.
  • Ionisation methodology: optimised and suited to achieve the most efficient coupling of sample inlet to ion trap in a miniature volume.
  • Detector: maximum dynamic range at the operating vacuum and positioned to achieve maximum signal to noise ratio.
  • Portable getter pump vacuum system: capable of handling required load of inlet gas (at atmospheric pressure) and sample.