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Proceedings Paper

Design considerations and performance characteristics of AirSentinel: a new UV-LIF bio-aerosol threat detection trigger
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Paper Abstract

AirSentinel® is a new low cost, compact ultraviolet-based light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) bio-aerosol threat detection trigger. Earlier UV-LIF triggers, for example, FLAPS, BARTS, BAWS, Bioni, and BioLert, have used UV laser sources to induce fluorescence of biological aerosols. Two recent developments from the DARPA MTO SUVOS program, BAST and TAC-BIO, use UV LEDs for the same purpose, thereby broadening the term UV-LIF to mean laser or LED induced autofluorescence. All of these earlier triggers interrogate aerosols on a particle-by-particle basis on- the-fly. The major trade-off for these instruments is cost, size, and complexity versus counting efficiency (probability of detection) with the lower size end of the respirable range being most difficult to detect. AirSentinel® employs a different approach to UV-LIF detection: aerosol concentration by collection on a surface, surface interrogation, and surface rejuvenation prior to repeated concentration and interrogation cycles. Aerosol particle concentration via impaction on a surface addresses the issue of small particle counting efficiency since the fluorescence from the sum of the particles is the sum of the fluorescence signals from the collected particles, typically hundreds or thousands in number. Surface interrogation for a LIF signal is accomplished by illumination with a 280 nm and/or a 365 nm LED. As expected, test results show better relative detection performance using 280 nm excitation LEDs for bio-toxin simulants and somewhat better performance at 365 nm for standard Bacillus globigii spore targets. AirSentinel® beta technology is currently in long term testing in a number of public and other government buildings.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 October 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5990, Optically Based Materials and Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence II, 59900O (28 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.634389
Show Author Affiliations
Richard DeFreez, MesoSystems Technology (United States)
Ezra Merrill, MesoSystems Technology (United States)
Sam Albanna, MesoSystems Technology (United States)
Bert Davis, MesoSystems Technology (United States)
Charles Call, MesoSystems Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5990:
Optically Based Materials and Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence II
Anthony W. Vere; John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas; James G. Grote; Francois Kajzar, Editor(s)

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