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Proceedings Paper

Biological aerosol background characterization
Author(s): Janet Blatny; Augustus W. Fountain
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Paper Abstract

To provide useful information during military operations, or as part of other security situations, a biological aerosol detector has to respond within seconds or minutes to an attack by virulent biological agents, and with low false alarms. Within this time frame, measuring virulence of a known microorganism is extremely difficult, especially if the microorganism is of unknown antigenic or nucleic acid properties. Measuring "live" characteristics of an organism directly is not generally an option, yet only viable organisms are potentially infectious. Fluorescence based instruments have been designed to optically determine if aerosol particles have viability characteristics. Still, such commercially available biological aerosol detection equipment needs to be improved for their use in military and civil applications. Air has an endogenous population of microorganisms that may interfere with alarm software technologies. To design robust algorithms, a comprehensive knowledge of the airborne biological background content is essential. For this reason, there is a need to study ambient live bacterial populations in as many locations as possible. Doing so will permit collection of data to define diverse biological characteristics that in turn can be used to fine tune alarm algorithms. To avoid false alarms, improving software technologies for biological detectors is a crucial feature requiring considerations of various parameters that can be applied to suppress alarm triggers. This NATO Task Group will aim for developing reference methods for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to improve alarm algorithms for biological detection. Additionally, they will focus on developing reference standard methodology for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to reduce false alarm rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2011
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 8018, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII, 801802 (3 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.887033
Show Author Affiliations
Janet Blatny, FFI Fotsvarets (Norway)
Augustus W. Fountain, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8018:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII
Augustus W. Fountain; Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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