Safety and Security

Trustworthy and reliable transmission and processing of information is the key to modern, smart societies. This requires reliable, safe, and secure microelectronics.

Microelectronics is also an essential part of most safety and security systems including tools for the protection against terrorism. Both aspects are covered in our technology-oriented business area “Safety and Security”.

Based on the member institutes’ expertise in system design, reliability, sensor systems, and systems integration, we are developing application-specific system solutions for surveillance and reconnaissance, structural and functional monitoring of machine parts and buildings, secure communication, and fail-safe hardware and software.

Examples of Technologies


Retinal scanner that fits in a purse

The blood vessel pattern of the retina is a biometric feature that is different in each human being. Using special eye scanners, a person could give proof of identity safely, securely and unambiguously while on the go. 

Together with other partners within the BMBF-funded project “MARS”, scientists at Fraunhofer IPMS develop a prototype of a small retinal scanner. Researchers housed the needed optical components within a volume of about 12 x 9 x 6 cm³.


KATWARN: Free disaster alert system

KATWARN is a free warning system for the population, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS.

The responsible authorities and agencies send via KATWARN official warning information on disasters, such as large fires, bomb alerts or hurricanes, directly to the mobile phones of affected citizens. Therefore, KATWARN supplements the general warnings issued by the police, fire brigade and radio by providing information that may be vitally important.


Radar for navigation support of autonomous flying drones

The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.



Application lab IR laser spectroscopy

Identifying solids & liquids – in real time

  • Process analysis: monitoring chemical reactions
  • Food: identifying sensory defective / spoiled food
  • Pharma: analyzing active agent concentration
  • Medical therapy: breath & blood glycose analyses
  • Clean technology: monitoring drinking water
  • Safety engineering: detecting hazardous substances

Reliable vehicle architecture

Highly-automated or autonomous driving, plus the elimination of mechanical connections such as with steering, will place additional demands on the E/E systems of future vehicles.

In the EU-funded project SafeAdapt, ESK and several European partners developed a fail-operation concept for safety-critical driving functions using an AUTOSAR-compliant process. The system is supported by a generic error resolution mechanism and an automated tool chain


Optical spectroscopy in the MIR

Using spectroscopy the type and concentration of hazardous substances can be determined.