Easy portable sensor will find a person under any blockages

<pre>Easy portable sensor will find a person under any blockages

After natural disasters – especially earthquakes – it is very important to quickly find under the rubble of the survivors. A team of researchers from the Swiss Higher Technical School (ETH, Zurich), under the guidance of Professor Pratsinis, has developed a simple, inexpensive device that will help in the search for surviving victims of the elements.

Currently, for such searches, rescuers use specially trained dogs or acoustic probes. However, the number of dogs is limited, and they are not always available, and probes are useless when it comes to unconscious people. There are also systems that react to chemicals released by humans, but they are very expensive and very cumbersome.

The device with five sensors, developed in Switzerland, is very compact – so much that it fits in your hand and is easily mounted on a drone. Three sensors are responsible for the detection of specific chemicals that are exhaled by the victims, or released through the skin – acetone, ammonia and isoprene. The other two sensors fix the humidity level and CO2, which are also markers of close human presence.

During laboratory tests, participants were placed in plethysmographic chambers (plethysmography is the process of detecting the dimensions and volumes of any part of the human body and organism) to simulate a blockage. The sensor array was able to fix the above-mentioned chemicals at a concentration of three per billion, which is unprecedented for a portable detector.

Now scientists plan to transfer the tests from the laboratory to areas of real disasters.

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