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31 March 2009 Nano-based chemical sensor array systems for uninhabited ground and airborne vehicles
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Abstract
In a time when homemade explosive devices are being used against soldiers and in the homeland security environment, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is an urgent need for high-tech chemical sensor packages to be mounted aboard ground and air vehicles to aid soldiers in determining the location of explosive devices and the origin of bio-chemical warfare agents associated with terrorist activities from a safe distance. Current technologies utilize relatively large handheld detection systems that are housed on sizeable robotic vehicles. Research and development efforts are underway at the Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to develop novel and less expensive nano-based chemical sensors for detecting explosives and chemical agents used against the soldier. More specifically, an array of chemical sensors integrated with an electronics control module on a flexible substrate that can conform to and be surface-mounted to manned or unmanned vehicles to detect harmful species from bio-chemical warfare and other explosive devices is being developed. The sensor system under development is a voltammetry-based sensor system capable of aiding in the detection of any chemical agent and in the optimization of sensor microarray geometry to provide nonlinear Fourier algorithms to characterize target area background (e.g., footprint areas). The status of the research project is reviewed in this paper. Critical technical challenges associated with achieving system cost, size, and performance requirements are discussed. The results obtained from field tests using an unmanned remote controlled vehicle that houses a CO2/chemical sensor, which detects harmful chemical agents and wirelessly transmits warning signals back to the warfighter, are presented. Finally, the technical barriers associated with employing the sensor array system aboard small air vehicles will be discussed.
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Christina Brantley, Paul B. Ruffin, and Eugene Edwards "Nano-based chemical sensor array systems for uninhabited ground and airborne vehicles", Proc. SPIE 7291, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2009, 729102 (31 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820760; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.820760
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