VOC Odor Signature Modeling for Portable Sensing Platforms

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
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Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
Applied Nanotech, Inc.
3006 Longhorn Blvd., Suite 107, Austin, TX, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Richard Fink
Executive VP
(512) 339-5020
Business Contact:
Jacque Soptick
Corporate Controller
(512) 339-5020
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: The ability to find and track individuals using volatile organic compound (VOC) signatures would greatly enhance US military capability to defeat asymmetric threats. This program will develop the capability to predict the transport and dispersion of VOCs in both interior spaces and the environment will assist in defining the technical requirements and operational application of VOC-based sensors with the goal of achieving"reverse"modeling capabilities to backtrack individuals and activities of interest (e.g. use odor signatures to look back in time). Using an established environmental chamber and a trace chemical analytical platform based on ion mobility spectrometry, we will obtain empirically derived physical characteristics for a minimum of twelve specified VOCs, evaluate their potential atmospheric chemical breakdown/reactivity, and develop transport and dispersion (T & D) models of VOC patterns in both interior spaces and outdoor environment. BENEFIT: Successful commercialization of this research will require incorporation of the developed models and algorithms into a prototype trace chemical sensing platform capable of measuring complex odor profiles. This platform will have dual use applications: DoD and Homeland Security applications for tag, track and locate, civil law enforcement forensic applications, border control and inspection applications, and health monitoring and diagnosis for both military and civilian populations. A similar platform can also be used for industrial applications (process monitoring and quality control), and health monitoring and disease diagnosis. As an example, the human breath has been shown to contain thousands of different molecules and aerosol particles that contain biological significant information. Researchers have already identified biomarkers in the breath which indicate with a high degree of specificity and selectivity, various health conditions (e.g. carcinomas, asthma, infectious diseases, acute trauma, COPD etc.). The estimated market size for breath analysis for the health care market is ~ $100 - $500M.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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