AirBus and Koniku are reportedly working together to create a smell sensor which can detect dangerous chemicals and explosives as well as other biological hazards including Coronavirus onto the plane.
The purple, jellyfish-like sensors are powered by silicon processors that are augmented with living cells. The technology is “breathing the air, and it’s essentially telling you what’s in the air,” Oshiorenoya Agabi, the founder of Koniku, told the Financial Times.
The receptors will in turn sound an alarm wen they detect a threat that they have been programmed to sniff out. Initially, the sensors were meant to fish out hazardous chemicals and explosives but because of the current case of the Coronavirus pandemic, they’re also being used in the cases of contagious diseases.
“The technology has a very quick response time of under 10 seconds in best conditions,” said Julien Touzeau, head of product security for the Americas at Airbus. “With this level of maturity it’s an incredible result and hopefully it will improve over time.”
The sensors are expected to go on test by the fourth quarter of the year. The sensors will be placed in certain airport screening tunnels but the aim is to use this technology as the last place to resolve security threats.
The technology is also being envisioned to work for not only airlines but can be used by consumers in the future according to Agabi. It can be implemented in agriculture and defense sectors as well. He is also looking to create a product “for every home” that will function like a breathalyzer, which will collect data from people that Koniku can analyze for early detection of diseases such as cancer.