Biological hazardous substances like certain fungi and bacteria represent a high risk for the broad public if fallen into wrong hands. Incidents based on bio agents are commonly considered to have incalculable and complex consequences for first responders and people. The impact of such an event can be minimized by a combination of different sensor technologies that have been developed to detect bio-threats and to gather information after an incident. Sensors for bio-agents can be grouped into two categories. Sampling devices collect material from locations supposed to be contaminated, and they are able to identify biological material with high sensitivity and selectivity. However, these point sensors need to be positioned correctly in advance of an attack, and moving sources of biological material cannot be tracked. A different approach is based on optical standoff detection. For biological samples laser induced florescence (LIF) has been proven to get real time data on location and type of hazards without being in contact with the suspicious substance. This work is based on a bio-detector developed at the DLR Lampoldshausen. The LIF detection has been designed for outdoor operation at standoff distances from 20 m up to more than 100 m. The detector acquires LIF spectral data for two different excitation wavelengths (280 and 355 nm) as well as time resolved information for the fluorescence decay which can be used to classify suspicious samples. While the classification device had been trained on uncritical samples (like amino acids, NADH, yeast, chemicals, oils), this work presents the progress to more relevant, living bacteria of different strains. The low risk and non-pathogenic bacteria Bacillus thuringensis, Bacillus atrophaeus, Bacillus subtilis, Brevibacillus brevis, Micrococcus luteus, Oligella urethralis, Paenibacillus polymyxa and Escherichia coli (K12) have been investigated with the above set-up at both excitation wavelengths
Frank Duschek, Arne Walter, Lea Fellner, Karin Grünewald, Carsten Pargmann, Jürgen Handke, and Herbert Tomaso, "Standoff laser-induced fluorescence of suspensions from different bacterial strains," Proc. SPIE 9995, Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting, and Defence XII, 99950A (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 26, 2016; Published: 24 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241071.
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