Detail Project and Funding

Magnetic Induction Tomography with Optical Sensors


Funded by: Regione Toscana  
Calls: Joint Call – PhotonicSenging – H2020 ERANET cofund
Start date: 2018-03-30  End date: 2020-03-29
Total Budget: EUR 589.956,50  INO share of the total budget: EUR 150.000,00
Scientific manager: Fioretti Andrea   and for INO is: Fioretti Andrea

Organization/Institution/Company main assignee: CNR – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO)

other Organization/Institution/Company involved:

other INO’s people involved:
Gabbanini Carlo
Gozzini Silvia

Abstract: Detecting, imaging and identifying foreign objects are fundamental capabilities in many areas, from
security and screening, to industrial monitoring and quality control in manufacturing, not to mention
search and rescue. Therefore, a portable, remote, non-destructive, inherently safe and cost-effective
imaging device, capable of penetrating concealing barriers, would have a tremendous impact on civil
security and manufacturing plants control and maintenance. For these reasons, MITOS aims to
demonstrate a photonic sensing platform for multi-purpose use, based on electromagnetic induction
imaging performed with atomic magnetometers. A demonstration in controlled environments mimicking
realistic situations in civil security and manufacturing monitoring will be realised.
The enduring quest for civil security requires continuous assessment of potential threats to public
wellbeing, whether they come from illicit activities or from non-monitored industrial facilities and faulty
manufacturing plants.
The evolving conflict against unlawful activities, including for example weapons or drugs smuggling,
continuously imposes new challenges to EU and to national authorities. In fact, conventional
techniques for screening, surveillance and early detection can have limited effectiveness with complex
concealing enclosures or unpredicted mobile targets. For example, low-flying light aircrafts used for
smuggling or low-flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which are potential threats to aviation
security or means for terror attacks, are invisible to radar. In addition, the use of ionising radiations
such as X-rays is not suited for large areas or long range, or where people or animals are present.
Furthermore, it poses potential risks also for operators.
At the same time, continuous detection, identification and localisation of foreign bodies in industrial
processes represent valuable assets for manufacturing quality control, but also for ensuring timely
maintenance of plants and – consequently – reduction of disruptions and costs containment. Ultimately,
they will improve the safety of operators and nearby population.
Therefore, MITOS aims to develop a novel class of multi-purpose photonic sensors for civil security and
manufacturing based on optical atomic magnetometers operating in magnetic induction tomography
modality. This will provide an ultra-sensitive, non-invasive and inherently safe photonic platform for
remote detection, monitoring and imaging of potential threats and risks in a number of diverse fields.
Possible applications range from fast and safe cargo and parcels screening to remote detection of
intruders; from imaging of concealed items, such as weapons in enclosures or underground and
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), to localisation of dangerous debris or damage in industrial plants.
A relevant impact for civil security and manufacturing can be thus expected from the outcome of
MITOS. Furthermore, although well beyond the scope of this project, the development of an ultrasensitive
sensing platform of novel concept could pave the path to applications in other fields
concurring to public wellbeing, such as healthcare and underwater maritime detection and surveillance.

INO’s Experiments/Theoretical Study correlated:
MITOS – Magnetic Induction Tomography with Optical Sensors

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