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29 December 2004 Micro-UV detector
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A lightweight, tactical biological agent detection network offers the potential for a detect-to-warn capability against biological aerosol attacks. Ideally, this capability can be achieved by deploying the sensors upwind from the protected assets. The further the distance upwind, the greater the warning time. The technological challenge to this concept is the biological detection technology. Here, cost, size and power are major factors in selecting acceptable technologies. This is in part due to the increased field densities needed to cover the upwind area and the fact that the sensors, when deployed forward, must operate autonomously for long periods of time with little or no long-term logistical support. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Solid-state Ultraviolet Optical Source (SUVOS) program offers an enabling technology to achieving a detector compatible with this mission. As an optical source, these devices emit excitation wavelengths known to be useful in the detection of biological aerosols. The wavelength band is absorbed by the biological aerosol and results in visible fluorescence. Detection of a biological aerosol is based on the observed intensity of this fluorescence signal compared to a background reference. Historically this has been accomplished with emission sources that are outside the boundaries for low cost, low power sensors. The SUVOS technology, on the other hand, provides the same basic wavelengths needed for the detection process in a small, low power package. ECBC has initiated an effort to develop a network array based on micro UV detectors that utilize the SUVOS technology. This paper presents an overview of the micro UV detector and some of the findings to date. This includes the overall design philosophy, fluid flow calculations to maximize presentation of aerosol particles to the sources, and the fluorescence measurements.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jerry B. Cabalo, Richard Sickenberger, William J. Underwood, and David W. Sickenberger "Micro-UV detector", Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004);


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