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Fla. university receives FEMA grant to study fire-detecting sensors

The University of Central Florida will work with a Belgium-based company to develop portable detectors that sense chemicals created in fires

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Kausik Mukhopadhyay, a senior lecturer and researcher at UCF’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is working to develop a sensor that remotely detects fires and dangerous chemicals.

Photo/University of Central Florida

Marco Santana
Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO — A $500,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help UCF researchers develop a sensor that could help firefighters and others accurately detect blazes and dangerous chemicals remotely.

The award represents the first time UCF has received a fire prevention and safety grant from FEMA.

The idea is to develop portable detection systems that are cost-effective and can analyze toxic fumes quickly, said Kausik Mukhopadhyay, senior researcher at UCF’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

He will also be the lead researcher on the project.

The design of the sensor will be done for the UCF team at imec, a Belgian-based company with a Kissimmee group that has worked on several sensor-based projects.

The sensor will use radiation-based waves that detect chemicals consistent with a smoldering fire, which has the potential to give firefighters greater lead time to detect developing blazes.


©2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)