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H2020

IRON Report Summary

Project ID: 685074

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IRON (High sensitivity multi-gas handheld gas analysis technology)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The ambition of IRON project is to develop and commercialize portable, high performance, and fast device to enable safe handling of contaminated containers. In order to develop the device of required sensitivity, selectivity, speed , reliability and accuracy, a following objectives has been addressed for the reported period:
- system specifications has been created by M3 based on HoQ methodology and following KANO interviews with users from defined target early-end user group.
- minaturised photoacoustic cell has been be designed and its performance has been validated according to specifications requirements of the device, and including vibration handling capabilities .Optimized prototype of the photoacoustic cell was integrated into the device
- EC-QCL laser source has been selected to capture wide number of selected gas components, laser control scheme has been developed and implemented enabling required speed of measurement as specified in system specifications. performance of light source module has been validated.
- miniaturized gas sampling module has been implemented and tested with performance requirements validated positively
- device software and hardware modules has been integrated and tested
- middleware modularsoftware has been designed, implemented and tested. Modular design of the software allows independent development and testing of individual layers and system components.
- chemometrics for multi-component gas identification based on the measured spectra with different sources was developed and validated according to system specifications
- algorithms and software for the library spectrum calibration has been created
- cloud architecture has been developed and implemented. Cloud-based data handling and communications application has been created and tested positively

A miniaturized detector that offers both sensitivity and selectivity would enable a plethora of new applications (cargo container safety, indoor air quality monitoring, hidden person detection, explosives and narcotics detection, occupational safety, odour analysis, unknown chemicals identification, etc.) unlocking the floodgates to a multimillion euro business opportunity in the growing green economy, whereby there is increasing concern over the impacts of air pollution and air quality in the EU.
IRON will respond to growing demand for affordable, rapid, sensitive and selective instruments to enable on-site detection of hazardous chemicals in cargo containers and prevent worker exposure to the harmful volatile chemicals caused by fumigants and offgassing of freight. The current lack of technology places dockworkers, container unloaders and consumers at risk of carcinogenic or toxic gases, many of which elude subjective detection.

The development of work in M1-M12 indicate the commercialized IRON device will have the required sensitivity, selectivity and speed for providing quick, accurate and reliable readings of the type and quantity of chemicals inside to enable safe handling of contaminated containers.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In period M1-M3 project has started and progress was on schedule, on budget and in time. The project has reached its first milestone (ML1) timely and deliverable D1.1 was provided. The communication and project information has been disseminated via project webpage. New Project Manager (Aleksandra Karimaa) has been assigned to handle the responsibilities of EU and internal project management. The development of hardware and software has started with development of hardware modules and device concept as well as firmware and middleware software concepts. Testing and development workplaces are equipped and procedures related to IRON HW and SW development are in place. WP4 – First sprint has started with cloud specification work and with focus on cloud architecture concept design. Testing and integration work environment and procedures are in place. The equipment has been purchased and marked. Status of the project, including budget, time and progress has been reported to Gasera Board. Communication Plan has been prepared and submitted. Project Webpage, and social channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn group has been published and are operating. Project webpage contains both static information including project info as well as dynamic content including e.g. blog and news

In period M4-M6: Market analysis of the cargo container market has been closed providing the numbers concerning size of available markets. The development of hardware and software is focused on hardware modules development as well as firmware and middleware software concepts development. Additionally, SW and HW development including building calibration environment and concept (both SW and HW). Second sprint has provided first version of cloud architecture with skeleton of backend and frontend. The system is available online at www.gaseracloud.com. Testing and integration work is ongoing. Communication Toolbox has been completed and published, including also testing the efficiency of different means of communication by analysis of project page traffic and major dissemination and marketing activities. Project progress is in on schedule, on budget and in time. The deliverables D3.1 Binary files of the system firmware and D7.3 Communication Toolbox has been provided. Additionally, the deliverable D4.1 Cloud Architecture has been submitted earlier as prepared by the contractor.
Project manager coordinating cloud system development at the contractor side – Joan Besares has left the company. The responsibilities of managing the project at IRIS are handled by IRIS director Joan Puig.

In period M7-M9: in the period M6-M9 we have achieved good progress by exploring the leads from major trade exhibitions were have participated and exploring potential cargo safety markets. Market research has been structured and risks summarized. Hardware development has been progressing timely and within the budget reaching Milestone MS2, where electronics, photoacoustic cell, light source module and gas sampling module are ready for integration into the designed enclosure suitable for onsite testing. The development of hardware and software is focused on hardware modules development as well as firmware and middleware software concepts development. Additionally, SW and HW development including building calibration environment and concept (both SW and HW). Third cloud development sprint focused on data structures for API and database, setting up not only data structure for communication but also proposing product development goals for next sessions. Additionally, we have investigated new EU regulations concerning data privacy. Testing and integration work is ongoing. The project reached two Milestones timely:
• MS2- electronics, photoacoustic cell, light source module and gas sampling module are ready for integration into the designed enclosure suitable for onsite testing
• MS3- Functionality and debugging tests verify readiness
Cloud system development architecture is ready and first front and backend skeleton of functionality is implemented. The report includes also recent changes in EU legislation concerning cloud system design and data privacy. Additionally, deliverable D7.4 On-line catalogue of publications, articles and press releases provided presentation of catalog information via project webpage. The tradeshows, conferences and other events that GASERA are planned as stated in project proposal with major industry expositions: Pittcon, Photonics West and Analytica were participated and the same exhibitions are planned in next year for commercial release of IRON product if budget allows. Minor events will be participated as well with some of them planned on short term and participated if relevant and important for IRON project.

In period M10-M12: The development of SW and HW modules is progressing also during the integration phase. The works are focused on addressing mainly laser module challenges related to technical problems and poor thermal stability. New temperature control module has been developed and implemented with using Peltier HW module and control card. Relevant firmware expansions to host the change were necessary.Third sprint developed INPUT API and data warehouse structures, including relevant documentation and tools to test future modification of API and data structure in IRON (changes are needed to align IRON device development with IRON cloud development). Testing and integration work is ongoing. First prototype integrating all the IRON modules has been validated positively in performance tests (see deliverable 5.4). The prototype was developed to address early need for testing IRON technology performance in field. Achieved milestones:
• MS4- Successful functional testing of the integrated system
• MS5- Tests confirm user- friendly presentation of accurate results and automated warning of hazardous gases and error handling. The implementation details of results displaying, and error handing are presented in M12 deliverables. Automatic warning of hazardous gases has been under prioritized by customer in product specifications created in WP1
• MS6 Sample spectrum data is successfully converted into a PNNL standard spectrum format The deliverables have been uploaded and we have started the preparations for Periodic Reporting finalizing Y1 period project reporting.
• MS7- Trials with dummy data confirm proper performance as reported in deliverable D5.4

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

GASERA, a high tech Finnish SME, aims to develop and commercialise the IRON handheld device for sub-parts per billion (ppb) gas detection based on proprietary mid-infrared laser spectroscopy combined with novel patented photoacoustic technology. The transitioning of its technology from fixed mount analysers to portable and handheld instruments, motivated by the strong need for portable analysers for toxic gases and air pollutants in several application fields with laboratory grade performance, will enable access to new markets. Existing technologies have limitations in terms of size, performance, versatility and/or usability. A miniaturized detector that offers both sensitivity and selectivity would enable a plethora of new applications (cargo container safety, indoor air quality monitoring, hidden person detection, explosives and narcotics detection, occupational safety, odour analysis, unknown chemicals identification, etc.) unlocking the floodgates to a multimillion euro business opportunity in the growing green economy, whereby there is increasing concern over the impacts of air pollution and air quality in the EU.

The benefits for the end-users of the technology will include increased worker safety (minimising the risk to their workers by exposure to hazardous chemicals), improved decision making in relation to cargo and container decontamination (aeration, cleaning, etc.), more efficient use of resource and improved operations (by preventing unnecessary aeration and speeding up container handling, etc.), reduced costs being incurred (by being able to support the passing on of costs associated with decontaminating containers to the liable party with objective data). These benefits, which will be validated through our field trials and case studies during this project, will be disseminated through a powerful communication campaign that will contribute to stimulating market pull for the technology.

For GASERA, the business impact of being first to market with a handheld device and data handling application for the measurement of fumigants and toxic industrial chemicals in cargo containers would be very promising for their company. To date, no single device exists on the marketplace that can provide accurate and reliable information about the nature of the chemicals in containers and the levels that are safe. It is expected that chemicals in containers will remain a hazard for the foreseeable future, given the difficulties involved in implementing alternatives to fumigation and the ongoing issue of material emissions. It is predicated that the growing and widespread awareness of the dangers posed by hazardous chemicals in the workplace will drive demand for methods for detection of chemicals in containers. By serving this demand with the IRON handheld, GASERA will generate ~ €42.3M in additional turnover by 2023 and increasing their workforce by ~3814 additional staff. They will also be well placed to swiftly adapt the technology for other applications, such as indoor air quality monitoring, which is area of growing interest especially with the rise of energy-efficient draught-proofed buildings with lower rates of air exchange that allow levels of chemicals to build up, as well as hidden person detection (for detecting stowaways in trailers, rooms, vehicles and shipping), among other applications

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