DIRAC Project


Project acronym: DIRAC

Project full title: “Rapid screening and identification of illegal Drugs by IR Absorption spectroscopy and gas Chromatography “

Funding: The project is financially supported by the European Commission through the FP7 Program

Topic: Detection of illicit substances

Goal: Development of a point sensor to be used by customs and police officers in their daily fight against the trafficking of illicit drugs, suitable in particular to detect and identify amphetamines and their precursors


  • Very compact (the size of a hand-luggage)
  • Capable to analyze both trace and bulk material
  • Capable to treat both volatile and non-volatile material
  • Identification capacity superior to commercial sensors based on IMS


  • Analysis and recognition based on Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy, with QCL as laser source and hollow fibers as miniaturized optical cells
  • Separation and pre-concentration make use of silicon-micromachined devices

Role of CREO: project coordination, system integration, development of the IR module

Perspectives: similar system architecture could be used to detect and identify IEDs or CWAs

Visit us at http://www.fp7-dirac.eu

Related papers:

  • Sandro Mengali, Nicola Liberatore, Domenico Luciani, Roberto Viola, Gian Carlo Cardinali, Ivan Elmi, Antonella Poggi, Stefano Zampolli, Elisa Biavardi, Enrico Dalcanale, Federica Bonadio, Olivier Delemont, Pierre Esseiva, Francesco S. Romolo, Rapid screening and identification of illicit drugs by IR absorption spectroscopy and gas chromatography – Proc. SPIE 8631, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices X, 86312F (2013), (doi:10.1117/12.2003903s) [Abstract];
  • Sandro Mengali, Domenico Luciani, Roberto Viola, Nicola Liberatore, Stefano Zampolli, Ivan Elmi, Giancarlo Cardinali, Antonella Poggi, Enrico Dalcanale, Elisa Biavardi, Pierre Esseiva, Olivier Delemont, Federica Bonadio and Francesco Saverio Romolo, Toward street detection of amphetamines – SPIE Newsroom (30 January 2013), (doi: 10.1117/2.1201301.004682[HTMLPdf];

Coming soon…


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