Project duration: 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2020


Contribution to the overall impact of the inSPECTor project is a push forward in entrepreneurship by bringing together the most important technological key players and leaders. With the aim of placing a breakthrough product on the raw materials market and so ultimately addressing the key issues in increased resource and energy efficiency thanks to an effective reduction in environmental impacts (data acquisition involves no traditional chemical sample processing techniques) but also thanks to an increased response time (data acquisition for 1 m of drill core will take approximately 10s). inSPECTor is a joint research and development project and also involves an educational component to it. This relates to the supervision of a PhD student who will be based at HZDR-HIF and will be part of the research team on hyperspectral data processing and drill core imaging. She/he will closely collaborate with researchers at the TUBAF on luminescence spectroscopy and data processing routines. The PhD student will link the research components of inSPECTor with the technical implementation developed by the two SME task partners enabling effective and clear flow of information.

The solution (technology)

The integrated sensor system developed within the inSPECTor project is beneficial also for other partners in the EIT RawMaterials community, especially for those working in the theme on exploration and raw material resource assessment. The innovation in spectral sensors contributes to strengthening the competitiveness and capacities for further innovation due to the efficient solution for fast mineral mapping of drill cores with a high spatial resolution. Very important for the European raw material sector is also the ability of an efficient REE identification to reduce the import dependencies of those critical raw materials. Outside the consortium, the project inSPECTor contributes to the innovation capacity of the European raw material sector, because the developed sensor system could be also integrated into many future solutions and projects: Possible combination of emission and absorption spectroscopy with other sensor systems, an option that is not yet reflected in the current trend of modular multi-sensor systems. High potential is seen in combinations with other sensors for spectroscopy such as those for time-gated raman or x-ray fluorescence or with sensors that allow looking below the drill core surface such as tomography. Further developments may allow UAV-based exploration with the integrated spectral sensor system and can then complement multi-sensor solutions for UAV (e.g. multi-sensor drone up-scaling project lead by GEUS)- The time- and cost-efficient technology can support developments in online process control such as for exploitation monitoring or material sorting during material processing and recycling (quality control, process correction). The new analytical options have indirect benefits for further geoscientific fields (structural geology as supplementary info for exploration, genesis and differentiation of lithologic/geologic units, provenance analyses, REE as tracer/fingerprinting in material cycles).


  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (HZDR), Germany (Lead Partner)
  • Freiberg Instruments GmbH, Germany
  • Geologian tutkimuskeskus, GTK (Geological Survey of Finland), Finland
  • Specim, Spectral Imaging Ltd., Finland
  • Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF), Germany