Project deliverable Open Access

Design & development of the RESCUE MIMS

Sofia Karma; Andrea Gaggiolli; Stamatis Giannoukos; Nick Panagiotou; Nikollas Muller; Hana Gharrad; Serafeim Moustakidis; Marco Guerri; Silvia Vlachou; Giulia Sedda; Annalisa Bonfiglio; Christos Boukouvalas; Magda Krokida; Philippe Besson; Iliana Korma; Christodoulos Santorinaios; Christos Ntanos

Inside the SnR research project, it is attempted for the first time the adaptation of a promising field technology, this of Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS), to the specific needs of Search and Rescue (SaR) operations, in order to develop the ‘RESCUE-MIMS’ device. Though, it is crucial to consider all the challenges and limitations when measuring with field chemical technologies in the harsh environment that is usually encountered in the disaster scene, depending on the disaster type; e.g. dust, smoke, high temperatures, heat radiation, high RH%, strong chemical background interferences that are masking the results, etc.
The RESCUE-MIMS device delivered is a prototype of technology readiness level (TRL) 6 that has been designed and developed in the prospect of satisfying the majority of the end-users requirements that have been indicated inside D1.2. It is provided in a configuration of a robust peli-box luggage meeting the KPIs described in the DoA, namely: 1. portability, 2. robustness, 3. ruins penetration capability 4. easy operation, 5. friendly to the user and 6. easy to deploy. The KPIs concerning the analytical performance of the RESCUE-MIMS, namely: 1.sensitivity, 2. reliability 3. low Limit of Detection (LOD) 4. fast response times 5. detection capability of a wide range of concentrations, will be addressed in D.5.3 (Testing and Validation of the RESCUE-MIMS), since experimental testing is needed to prove these features and hence, they will be available in D5.1 version 2 (M18).
RESCUE-MIMS device can be used for the early detection of toxic environments for the first responders in terms of hazardous VOCs or semi-VOCs identified in the disaster environment. It can also be mounted on fire-fighters vehicles (roving system) or tested as a payload on robotic platforms in order to serve as a screening tool for early warning. This configuration can protect first responders as well as canines from exposure to toxic environments. The RESCUE-MIMS prototype is foreseen to be tested on-board DFKI ground robot and demonstrated under UC4, in the framework of an Industrial Fire Scenario.
RESCUE-MIMS device, due to its low detection capabilities can also be used for measuring chemicals at low concentrations that have been correlated in literature with human presence, trying to mimic rescue dogs. It is foreseen to test the device under UC5 (Victims trapped under rubbles) for monitoring on-line indicative “human chemical signs”; prior the trial, testing with canine dogs shall take place under D.5.3. Though, it should be highlighted that such ambitious “artificial sniffer” should be seen as a complementary SaR technology to the existing ones, without trying to exclude the rescue dogs. It is aimed to be used complementarily with the other conventional SaR methods, such as geophones, cameras etc., so that to endorse the first responders’ spectrum of operational tools.

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