The UK government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a new Themed Competition called Rapid Detection of Toxic Gases. Funded by the Home Office, the competition will make up to £1.6m (US$2m) available for innovative proposals that can enhance the rapid detection of toxic gasses in busy public places such as airport terminals.
The rapid release of toxic gas in an enclosed or semi-enclosed environment can occur through accident, equipment malfunction or malicious intent. The impact can outpace existing safety procedures and potentially lead to adverse health effects for those in the vicinity.
DASA seeks detection options suitable for air quality monitoring in potentially busy spaces that act as an early warning to indicate unsafe levels of toxic gasses. As well as detection, the accelerator is also interested in estimating concentration, minimizing nuisance alarms, quick identification of toxic gasses and highlighting areas at risk; as well as enabling networking to future smart facility management systems.
The competition document notes that comprehensive coverage of chemical hazards is preferred. Some toxic gasses are of greater concern than others in rapid release emergencies – for example, colorless or odorless gasses which would not otherwise alert bystanders, compared to coloured or odoriferous gasses that would generate sensory alarm. In future, DASA may prioritize certain gasses for particular focus, but at this stage, it is exploring detectors with the widest possible range of chemical libraries and capabilities.
The submission deadline is March 28, 2024.