ExDtect can identify tiny quantities of explosive particles invisible to the naked eye – even in crowded public spaces such as transport hubs and stadiums.

The cutting-edge laser technology can remotely scan vehicles and cargo as well as people – accurately pinpointing the location of minute traces of explosives, and alerting an operator to them.

Non-invasive, the system is works in real time and is fully automated – ruling out human error – and the images it produces are comparable to CCTV footage. What’s more, it causes no delay to people moving through busy hubs or to business operations.

The technology will soon be used by an international courier to scan cargo, and discussions are underway with several international organisations, also keen to use the technology.

Professor Tyrer – from Loughborough’s Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering – created the device in partnership with colleagues from the University’s Department of Chemistry.

“Sadly, it seems inevitable that we are going to see growing numbers of terrorist attacks like those recently witnessed in Brussels,” he says. “Had our device been in operation at Brussels Airport, I firmly believe those terrorists would have been identified and prevented from entering the terminal.

“There has never been a more urgent need to have in place technology that can accurately and remotely identify cargo, vehicles and people that have been in contact with explosives.

“When handling an explosive, the chemicals and constituent components present leave traces on your fingers and clothes which are transmitted to anything you touch.

“Using some of the laser technology that we have invented here at Loughborough over the past few years, we have been able to create a device that can see the explosives and reject all other materials.

“This really is British engineering and inventiveness at its best – tackling a global threat to public safety.”

To find out more about the technology, please visit the ExDtect website.