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Proceedings Paper

Design considerations and signal processing algorithms for laser-induced fluorescence airborne pathogen sensors
Author(s): Geoffrey A. Wilson; James Brady
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Paper Abstract

Sensors based on laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) enable the rapid detection of micron-size airborne pathogens. As with any sensor, the central design issue is the trade between sensitivity and selectivity. In the case of a LIF bio-particle sensor, the objective is to best distinguish a small concentration of “threat” particles against a potentially much larger concentration of harmless “background” particles, without an excessive rate of falsely alarming when threat particles are absent. In this paper, we characterize sensor performance using four inter-related metrics -- sensitivity, probability of detection, false positive rate (FPR) and response time. We develop several sensor design principles and present a new approach to signal processing called the “degree of threat” algorithm. We describe a recent experiment quantifying the performance of a BioLert testbed in distinguishing a biological agent (Bacillus globigii spores) from a mineral dust (kaolin), using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve to show the trade between sensitivity and FPR.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.579119
Show Author Affiliations
Geoffrey A. Wilson, Hach Homeland Security Technologies (United States)
James Brady, Hach Homeland Security Technologies (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5617:
Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence
John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas, Editor(s)

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