Novel Electromagnetic Sensor for Contaminations in Fog Based on the Laser-induced Charge Effect
Bulgarian research institute has developed a sensor which is capable of measuring the presence of contamination and estimates its relative concentration. The sensor uses liquid layer that allows for removing the layer of fog condensation at the solid surface and the signal variation due to fog dynamics density variation. It is able to measure only the contribution of the fog admixtures to the surface photo-charge effect signal. The institute offers commercial agreement with technical assistance.
The Institute seeks for cooperation with partners in the form of commercial agreement with technical assistance. For all who would like to use these sensors for research in exchange of payment the research organization would offer additional service agreement. The institutes’ offer includes building and optimizing sensors for a particular application.
Atmospheric dispersion is one of the main means for spreading of substances harmful to humans - chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents, toxic compounds, etc. These agents are usually dispersed as an aerosol, either in liquid phase, or are mixed with another carrier liquid. Contaminations also do happen as a result of terrorist attacks, wars, industrial accidents, disasters, etc. One of the ways to effectively decontaminate air from these harmful substances is through spreading of fog in the affected environment (indoors and/or outdoors). Fog is in practice an aggregation of microscopic water droplets, spread in the air. Fog sweeps along many different impurities, like small particles, dust, different chemical compounds, etc. and facilitates their condensation on the ground, thus decontaminating the area. The use of this technique, developed in a Bulgarian research institute, requires sensors for continuous monitoring of admixtures in the fog. These detectors should be triggered on when a toxic substance is detected in the environment and triggered off when the concentration of this substance falls below predetermined threshold. The ideal sensor should be small, portable, inexpensive, with simple construction and stable in various conditions. It should also provide easy operation and the possibility for on-line control for both small and large areas. The research team presents a novel sensor for detection of contamination of fog based on the Surface Photo-charge effect. The Surface Photo-charge effect is observed during the interaction of any solid with an electromagnetic field and can be described as the induction of an electric, alternating potential difference in the solid with the same frequency as that the incident field. The Surface Photo-charge effect response is characterized by significant dependence on the specific properties of the irradiated sample. This fact opens vast opportunities for rapid and contactless analysis of solids, liquids, and gasses, and chemical agents dispersed in aerosols. The sensors based on this effect have demonstrated good analytical capabilities and the possibility to be incorporated in portable devices at a relatively low price. In order to transfer this technology to interested organizations the institute offers them a commercial agreement with a technical assistance contract.
Advantages and innovations
When fog is used as decontamination agent, neutralizing substances facilitating decontamination are usually added. These substances can also be harmful to human health. Thus, it is important to perform continuous control of the human exposure to these substances. The most widespread sensors for control of the composition of fog operate by evaluating the permittivity of the medium. One way in which this is done is by cameras that estimate the change in visibility due to the presence of fog or pollutants in the air. A more widespread technique is to use a light source (Ultraviolet and Infrared) and a detector. The light intensity from the source reaching the detector decreases when particles or droplets are present in the air due to the light scattering. The third option is the use of LIDARs to survey the environment. Sometimes humidity sensors are used to help for detection of fog presence. Fog detection has been also performed through radars. These sensors are either limited by a relatively long sampling time or offer portability at a high price and high energy consumption. There is so far no other existing sensor especially dedicated to (on-line) monitoring of contamination in present in fog.
Available for demonstration
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
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