Asqella, a spin-off of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, sells
revolutionary passive THz imaging systems capable of remote detection of items
concealed about the body. The company has received nearly one million euros
funding from an angel syndicate, VTT Ventures and Tekes – the Finnish Funding
Agency for Technology and Innovation.
The company sees major market potential in applications such as
high-throughput screening in loss prevention, event security, and security in
public places. The technology will become available to customers during 2014.
“Since our product involves no radiation, health concerns are absent. The
financing will catalyse our product development and help in building the
routes to market. The markets for the technology are global,” says Asqella’s
Managing Director and co-founder Arttu Luukanen, former Research Professor of
micro and nanosystems at VTT.
The product provides the customer with an absolutely safe capability for
detecting concealed items on moving subjects at a stand-off range of between 5
and 15 metres. The system is passive, neither irradiating the person subject
to screening nor revealing anatomical details.
Stand-off screening, the capacity to screen at a distance, has been of
considerable interest for several years. Technical challenges have nonetheless
limited the effectiveness of existing techniques.
“Asqella, after years of scientific research, can now provide customers with
highly effective yet acceptable screening capability, well beyond any
available today. Asqella is also using spectroscopic camera technology. You
could compare that to switching from black-and-white to colour TV,” says
Antti Sinisalo, the CEO of VTT Ventures, says: “We are pleased that the
company was able to raise a substantial funding package to take this exciting
technology to the industrialization and commercialization phase. The timing is
just right for making a big impact on the people screening market.”