Stand-off bio detection - a realistic option?
Biological agents have become an increasingly important potential threat for both military and civilians. As they are relatively easy to produce and disperse, an early warning of a spread of biological agents is indispensable and fundamental to establish a timely defense and to maintain and support effective operability of security forces and civil protection. Furthermore, it would enable them to take protection, reaction and response measures, such as, for example, evacuation, decontamination or putting on protective equipment. Additionally, stand-off bio detection would be a useful tool for mapping of affected areas. The SoBID project, funded by EDA and conducted by Fraunhofer INT in cooperation with Isdefe and Ibatech Tecnología, aimed at delivering insights in potential future technological solutions for stand-off bio detection within a timeframe of 10 to 20 years from now. The approach chosen for this study is based on desktop research on the state-of-the-art of technologies and systems related to standoff bio detection, combined with an information exchange workshop. On this basis, expert interviews were conducted. Based on this research, two distinct roadmaps were elaborated, taking into account technological feasibility, operational requirements, cost factors, and commercial availability of components.