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Mono-fibre Optical Measuring Technology to detect Tricresyl Phosphate & other VOCs – SVOCs in Aircraft Cabins
VN Aerotoxic Detection Solutions Ltd (VN-ADS) proposes to raise £1,800,000 in three rounds of funding to develop an Aero-Toxic Detection technology for incorporation with, and use on, all aircraft that provide onboard climate control in the aircraft via ‘bleed air systems’.
When successful, monetisation of this development will be achieved via technology licencing agreements with new aircraft manufacturers and sales of handheld devices to operators of existing fleets.
Aircraft manufacturers and operators are under significant pressure by way of public enquiries and employee legal actions following the discovery of the organophosphates such as Tricresyl Phosphate, or ‘TCP’ in the aircraft cabin.
To date there are no ‘acceptable’ or ‘allowable’ pollution levels in this sector. Airlines are losing court cases brought by their staff for dangerous working conditions.
Following numerous complaints received from passenger & pilot associations the European Aviation Organisation (EASA) has ordered an investigation, as has the US Senate via the FAA.
What is the opportunity & why does it exist?
Design, Test & Prove a specific fixed ‘Air Quality’ detection device for onboard aircraft use
Aircraft ‘Fume Events’ are calculated to happen on 1 in 100 flights daily (Neurotoxins present in the cabin during flight or upon start-up). Events occur when lubrication oil in the turbine is burnt due to seepage and/or leaks, the organophosphates in the oil are released and then mix with the incoming ‘fresh air’ via the aircraft bleed-air-system
Multiple reports by flight crew & cabin staff of these incidents & their physical side effects on crew and passengers
Numerous legal actions against operators & manufacturers alike being settled outside courts throughout the world.
What is the technology and how proven is it?
VN-ADS Mono Fibre Optical Measuring Technology (MOMT), combined with certain types of coatings, have demonstrated the capability to detect Tricrysel Phosphate (TCP) and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) in real time.
Patents granted in UK & USA and new patent investigation underway
Stage 1 development process has delivered:
Research to identify suitable end-coatings for the target analytes
Experiments to prove the efficacy and versatility of these coatings
Software development to gather raw data and produce compliance reporting
Integration of the technology into a bench device for real time trials using an environmental chamber.
Design confirmation of the integration capability of the device into a handheld device
Construction of a handheld mockup device
What will the Round 2 £600k investment deliver?
Development of the ‘Handheld’ unit into a saleable solution
Demonstration of its capabilities to Airlines, Operators & Crew alike.
Ongoing research and testing of new coatings for other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOC’s) detection
Further experiments in a 1m3 environmental chamber mock-up of an aircraft cabin to broaden the database, determine its sensitivities and therefore increase its capabilities.
Sales & Marketing will commence with Global Aviation industry players to demonstrate and promote the solutions, whilst also communicating with the necessary regulatory bodies to ensure compliance issues are covered pre aircraft installation and flight trials. It is anticipated that post this stage an established industry OEM player will step in and licence the technology for distribution through their existing channels.
Stage 1: Successfully Completed & Peer Reviewed by Emeritus Professor Derek Fray FRS FREng of Cambridge University, where he commented as follows:
“I witnessed a successful demonstration, by Professor Jeremy Ramsden, that showed that coated optical sensors responded quickly to organic vapours, including ethanol and toluene. It is the intention to have a series of coatings which will form the basis of a device that will monitor volatile organic compounds found in the aircraft cabins.
The results of Prof. Ramsden’s research (i.e. the findings and data presented to me on the 12th February 2016) are valid, and demonstrate the potential of the device for accurate measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) on board passenger aircraft.
Subject to more comprehensive experimentation and development to assure the device’s sensitivity and consistency of measurement further, I would agree that this technology/project should continue with the appropriate funding to develop a commercial VOC- & SVOC-measurement device for the aerospace industry.”
How will it make money & when?
Licence ‘built-in’ technology to aircraft manufacturers for ‘new build’ aircraft
Sales of Hand-held detection devices to aircraft owners & operators for existing fleets
1-2 years in development before potential revenues
2-3 years in revenue before potential investor exit
How large is the market?
Market Research carried out by VN-ADS, shows that there are currently 20,310 commercial aircraft in service today. Growth in commercial aircraft numbers (both passenger & cargo) is projected at 5% pa, delivering 41,240 aircraft flying by 2032. 14,320 of these will replace older, less efficient airplanes, with the remaining 20,930 used for fleet growth.
Given the complete lack of ‘real-time’ organophosphate (or suitable surrogate) detection & measuring technology available today, and the unique nature of the patent coverage acquired by VN-ADS, it is envisaged that the handheld unit unit selling price point will be in the region of $100,000, providing an immediate market opportunity of $3.9billion.
The total supply market value up to 2032 is projected to be in the region of $4.8Trillion or an average of $136million per aircraft.
With a ‘rights of use’ licence fee for the ‘built-in’ solution of $250,000 per aircraft, the total market opportunity between 2014 & 2032 is therefore estimated to be in the region of $8.8billion.