Portable Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Sensor for Detection of Biological Agents
Small Business Information
45 Manning Road, Billerica, MA, 01821
AbstractDetection and identification of biological agents are challenging tasks, requiring the assessment of a variety of sophisticated analysis techniques. This proposal addresses what is agreed to be the most dangerous threat, agent delivery in aerosol form.Our goal is to develop a field-portable laser diagnostic instrument capable of analyzing a large fraction of the total particles in a sample flow. This sampling efficiency is accomplished by combining an aerodynamic lens and a high repetition ratemicrochip laser. The analysis technique will be broadband laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), capable of performing a complete elemental analysis in real time. The critical task of demonstrating discrimination against background particles basedon LIBS spectra and particle size information will be carried out in collaboration with researchers at the University of Florida. Their current work on biological agent detection using conventional lasers will be extended to microchip lasers. We haveshown that these lasers have several unique characteristics for LIBS applications, including substantial advantages. The resulting instrument will be useful both as a warning device and for surface sampling. In addition to biological agent detection, a compact, sensitive aerosol sampling LIBS instrument would find important applications in environmental sampling, such as monitoring toxic metals emissions in exhaust streams. This device should be a goodcomplement to our existing line of commercial aerosol analysis instruments.
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