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The market of sensor detection of toxic gases, bio toxins and explosives is expected to grow, finds Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision team. This forecast comes on the backdrop of the rising instances of international terrorist threats against citizens and critical infrastructures, which are bringing about intensified investment in security measures and sophisticated sensing technologies.

Nanosensors are widely used in the homeland security, defense, environment, and healthcare sectors. They are also being used in the food safety and oil and gas industries in recent times.

Early detection systems for dangerous materials and compounds are critical for timely control and reaction strategies. “Sensors are being developed specifically for security personnel at border checkpoints and airports to help detect low volumes of gas emanating from explosive materials,” said Frost & Sullivan TechVision Consulting Analyst Ugo Feracci.

“Detecting triacetone triperoxide (TATP) explosives used by suicide bombers, hidden or packaged chemical materials, and intentional damage or changes to critical infrastructure are a few of the emerging areas for smart sensors application. The willingness to equip privates and security personals with these individual, small, and advanced detectors will be one of the game changers.”

According to, this research explores growth opportunities in homeland security for different sensing technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) sensors, and terahertz, infrared, acoustic, spectrometric as well as nano-sensors.

“Nanosensors will emerge a winner in the security landscape in the next five years,” observed Feracci. “By 2020, sensors will be able to detect low levels of dangerous materials. Eventually, CBRNE sensors can be a standard tool on every policeman’s belt to help detect drugs or assess certain risks.”

However, commercializing these technologies may be difficult, for two main reasons: research and development is really expensive in this area and the commercialization depends on governments’ willingness to invest in new technologies to equip its security forces. Further, local players, spin-offs and start-ups can disrupt the market by providing alternative, cost-competitive solutions to individuals, without the government’s involvement up to a certain extent.