Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NOSY Report Summary

Project ID: 653839
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NOSY (New Operational Sensing sYstem)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The NOSY project is focused on the development of a miniaturized yet highly sensitive platform, for the detection of illicit or suspicious substances. The platform includes the development of a miniature sensing device, a monitoring station and communication infrastructure for LEA (Law Enforcement Agencies) and forensic end users network integration. The enabling technology of the system is an innovative microelectronics sensor that combines state of the art micro and nanotechnologies with advanced smart sensing materials, which will be integrated as part of the project. The device will include proofing from any type of external tampering; the communication channel will be secure, compliant and integrated into the existing LEA data networks. As deemed necessary by LEAs and forensic end users, the project will develop prototype products to help tackle illegal drug trafficking and development of homemade bombs. Accurate and unambiguous identification of substances is fundamental to allow LEAs and forensic end users to intervene with the most suitable action or counter measure. LEAs and forensic end users will be involved at all critical milestones of the project, from initial requirements, to a first prototype validation, to the extensive trial phase. The project will produce different types of devices, based on the same underlying technology, but intended for different operational use and settings: the NOSY Scanner (for particles and sticky molecules); the NOSY Sniffer and NOSY Smart Cable (for gases and vapours).

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

NOSY ‘s work has been divided into eight Work Packages (WPs) to better coordinate the project’s overall work and fairly distribute responsibilities among partners according to expertise and capabilities. Six WPs (1-6) concern research activities, while single WPs have been put in charge of the project’s policy relevant dimension such as dissemination of results (WP7) and overall management and coordination (WP8).

Transversal activities. WP8 ‘Management’ and WP7 ‘Dissemination’ have been active since the beginning of the project period and will remain so until NOSY‘s expiration date. Their activities proceed in parallel with those of the other 6 WPs, whose work plan reflects a timetable designed to ensure greater coherence by having the research-relevant WPs strongly linked. For WP7 main results include the development of a comprehensive website, the production of project dissemination material, the organisation of the NOSY End user Dissemination Workshop and scientific dissemination. With regard to Managment the main results include the technical and administrative assistance, the work coducted to ensure Ethics management, and the organisation of project consortium meetings.

Research organization and results. The first eighteen months of the project period were dedicated and did achieve results in the following areas:
• Lay down the foundations for orienting the technical development by collect feedback on requirements and use cases for the NOSY project also thanks to the creation, and management of the End-Users Network (WP1)
• Develop improved sensitive functional materials as MIP elements optimized for high specificity and for integration with the microchip, to be used by the NOSY devices and the integrate the MIP, MOX nanosensors developed and the commercial UV LED with the SENSIPLUS microchip to obtain the NOSY microsensor device (WP 2 and WP 3)
• Design and develop the main system components and in particular: i) the base station, a software artefact supporting the platform preparation before any LEA mission; ii) the field devices, hosting the smart materials (WP2 and WP3 results) and subdivided into three types: sniffers, scanners and smart cables; iii) the handheld controller, an android based phone commanding field devices; and iv) the monitoring station, storing all the data collected in all missions and generating reports (WP4)
• Start up the work for the integration all developed modules (delivered by WP2, WP3, WP4) into the final end-to-end system and alongside validate compliancy with specifications from WP1, test interoperability and reliability (WP 5)
• Start up the planning of verification and validation activities in order to verify that the NOSY perform expected end user functions and devices meet the targeted performance (WP6)

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)

The innovation potential of the NOSY intends to fulfil the expectations of the end users and to be truly innovative system, able to improve investigation activities and the daily work of the LEAs. In particular we have identified as main benefits and innovation potential of the NOSY as follows:
• NOSY will deliver to LEA a set of tools that constitute a leap ahead in the ability to detect crime activity of narcotic trafficking and realization of improvised explosives. There are no similar devices available today, the level of miniaturization delivered by NOSY core technology is a >50x advancement to the current chemical sensing state of the art.
• Miniaturization, low cost, ease of use and effectiveness will enable widespread use of the NOSY devices among LEAs. The NOSY sensors can be installed on a need to use basis but also into infrastructures for permanent continuous environmental monitoring. The NOSY sensors can be embedded into the existing surveillance camera network. All of these deliver a much improved prosecution capability.
• The NOSY devices are tamper proof, miniature devices with secure and encrypted local data storage. They will be subject to a certification process to guarantee compliancy to all forensics requirements. Initially the devices will be tested to guarantee a less than 5% false positive or false negative accurate detection of the targeted compound. Over time the statistics will be improved to approach a virtual no errors device, with known techniques.
• The use of cryptographic functions both in the network, the collected data and in data stored in the various NOSY platforms ensures:
• That information in the network is hidden from casual onlookers and is protected by strong mathematical protocols against invested attackers. Additionally the encryption on all data stored is such that even in cases of theft of the equipment there is currently no practical manner for retrieving the stored information.
• The collected information is only readable and useable by the LEAs thus protecting both the privacy of the information itself and of potential citizens/entities that were target of the data collection.
• The NOSY project and its LEAs partnerships will enable the maturing of a technology that can be delivered to fulfil the crowdsourcing of humans safety vision. Such industry vision, also pursued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, calls for Smartphones, Wearable Devices and other connected electronics (surveillance cameras) be equipped with safety microsensors. The market potential is thus extremely large.
• All critical technologies employed for the development of the core microsensor technology are already at TRL5 (Technology readiness level) or 6. The aim of the NOSY project is to deliver demonstration devices at TRL7 with considerations of industrial scale up.

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