Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Volatile organic compounds, VOCs, Human scent, Gas sensor system, Ion mobility spectrometry

Description

Human smuggling accounts for a significant part of transnational organized crime, creating a growing threat to national and international security and putting at risk the health and lives of the people being smuggled. Early detection and interception of human beings hidden in containers or trucks are therefore of considerable importance, especially at key transportation hubs, such as at international borders and harbors. The major challenge is to provide fast inspection procedures without needing to open sealed trucks and containers. The detection of trace key volatile organic compounds, which includes aldehydes and ketones, emitted by humans can be used to rapidly determine human presence, requiring only several ml of air to be taken from inside a container. In this paper, we describe a prototype portable device for the rapid detection of hidden or entrapped people, employing a combined ion mobility spectrometer and sensor array system for obtaining a volatile signature of human presence. The detection limits of this combined analytical device are sufficiently low for use in sensing ketones and aldehydes being emitted by humans in closed containers. For easy handling by security personnel, a classification algorithm is applied that provides a simple YES or NO decision. With a training dataset of more than 1000 measurements, the algorithm achieved an area under curve of 0.9 for untrained scenarios. The field measurements show that two people need to stay in a car for between 20 and 30 minutes in order for the emitted trace volatile organic compounds to reach concentrations high enough for reliable detection with our analytical device.

Comments

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share

 
COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

A portable sensor system for the detection of human volatile compounds against transnational crime

Human smuggling accounts for a significant part of transnational organized crime, creating a growing threat to national and international security and putting at risk the health and lives of the people being smuggled. Early detection and interception of human beings hidden in containers or trucks are therefore of considerable importance, especially at key transportation hubs, such as at international borders and harbors. The major challenge is to provide fast inspection procedures without needing to open sealed trucks and containers. The detection of trace key volatile organic compounds, which includes aldehydes and ketones, emitted by humans can be used to rapidly determine human presence, requiring only several ml of air to be taken from inside a container. In this paper, we describe a prototype portable device for the rapid detection of hidden or entrapped people, employing a combined ion mobility spectrometer and sensor array system for obtaining a volatile signature of human presence. The detection limits of this combined analytical device are sufficiently low for use in sensing ketones and aldehydes being emitted by humans in closed containers. For easy handling by security personnel, a classification algorithm is applied that provides a simple YES or NO decision. With a training dataset of more than 1000 measurements, the algorithm achieved an area under curve of 0.9 for untrained scenarios. The field measurements show that two people need to stay in a car for between 20 and 30 minutes in order for the emitted trace volatile organic compounds to reach concentrations high enough for reliable detection with our analytical device.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.