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Compact BW Agent Detection System Using Aerosol Flourescence Spectroscopy
Phone: (512) 306-1100
Biological Warfare (BW) agents, delivered as an aerosol, are a serious and growing threat. The detection of a sudden and significant increase in biological substances in the air would be sufficient to indicate a high probability of BW release and allow protective actions to be taken. Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation (SPEC) and Prof. Richard Chang of the Dept. of Applied Physics at Yale University propose to develop an Aerosol Fluorescence Spectroscopy (AFS) BW agent monitoring system. The instrument will discriminate biological aerosols from non-biological aerosols by detecting the fluorescence and elastic scattering from individual micron-sized airborne particles. AFS adds fluorescence discrimination capability to existing aerosol particle counters to provide a highly reliable, early warning system of possible BW agent release. In Phase I, SPEC will provide proof-of-concept for a small, man-portable AFS monitoring system. In addition, SPEC will investigate second stage identifier modules for discrimination and identification of the aw agent. The AFS system will provide real-time warnings for prudent action or activate a second stage module with greater specificity for identification of the particular BW agent released. SPEC is currently working on several highly specific and sensitive BW agent identification systems. Improved real-time methods for characterizing airborne particles would be useful for a variety of applications. Examples of the uses for instruments capable of measuring the fluorescence spectra of airborne particles include: Identify and monitor the amount of airborne contaminants around facilities such as municipal solid waste recycling and composting plants; Monitor and evaluate the bioaerosol content of indoor and outdoor air for occupational safety concerns; Determine the source of unwanted particles in clean rooms; and Monitor the effluents from suspect BW agent production facilities for Treaty Verification and compliance.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *