Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) have created a sensor suite that will help emergency services more effectively detect improvised explosive devices. The system records the shape of suspicious packages and creates 3D images of their contents.

The multimodal sensor suite includes a millimeter wave scanner, a high-resolution digital camera, and a 3D environment monitoring system. The components are contained in a housing and mounted on a robot platform.

Bomb disposal engineers remotely control the robot from a safe distance. The robot's swiveling 3D sensors create a three-dimensional survey of the crime scene, and the digital camera provides high-resolution images for later optical evidence preservation.

Meanwhile the millimeter wave sensor scans the source of danger and creates an image of its contents. A built-in embedded PC on the robot collects the data and sends the information to the investigators, where it will be merged on the computer by means of sensor data fusion.

A radar sensor demonstrator will be ready in April 2016. Extensive field tests of the remote-controlled sensor suite begin in the middle of 2017, with the multimodal sensor suite set to be launched in 2019.