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'Air laser' may sniff bombs, pollutants from a distance
Date:2/16/2011

underlying methods rather than deployable detectors, they envision a device that is small enough to be mounted on, for example, a tank and used to scan a roadway for bombs.

So far, the researchers have demonstrated the process in the laboratory over a distance of about a foot and a half. In the future they plan to increase the distance over which the beams travel, which they note is a straightforward matter of focusing the beam farther way. They also plan to fine-tune the sensitivity of the technique to identify small amounts of airborne contaminants.

In addition, the research group is developing other approaches to remote detection involving a combination of lasers and radar.

"We'd like to be able to detect contaminants that are below a few parts per billion of the air molecules," Miles said. "That's an incredibly small number of molecules to find among the huge number of benign air molecules."


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Contact: Steven Schultz
sschultz@princeton.edu
609-258-3617
Princeton University, Engineering School
Source:Eurekalert  

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