After natural disasters —Especially earthquakes —It is very important to quickly find under the rubble of the survivors. A team of researchers of the Swiss Higher Technical School (ETT, Zurich), led by Professor Pratsinis, 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 people unconscious. There are also systems that respond to chemicals secreted by man, but they are very expensive and very bulky.
A device with five sensors developed in Switzerland is very compact —So much so that it is placed in the hand and is easily installed on the drone. Three sensors are responsible for the detection of specific chemicals exhausted by the victims, or distinguished by them through the skin – acetone, ammonia and isoprene. The other two sensors fix the humidity level and2, who are also markers of the close presence of a person.
During laboratory tests, their participants were placed in Platymographic chambers (Platyismography is a process of identifying the size and volume of any part of the human body and organism) to simulate the blockage. The sensor matrix was able to fix the aforementioned chemicals in the concentration of three per billion, which is unprecedented for a portable detector.
Now scientists are planning to transfer tests from the laboratory to real natural disasters zones.
Source — American Chemical Society