Wireless sensors and sensor networks for homeland security applications
Publication year: 2012Source:
TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Radislav A. Potyrailo, Nandini Nagraj, Cheryl Surman, Hacene Boudries, Hanh Lai, Joseph M. Slocik, Nancy Kelley-Loughnane, Rajesh R. Naik New sensor technologies for homeland security applications must meet the key requirements of sensitivity to detect agents below risk levels, selectivity to provide minimal false-alarm rates, and response speed to operate in high throughput environments, such as airports, sea ports, and other public places. Chemical detection using existing sensor systems is facing a major challenge of selectivity. In this review, we provide a brief summary of chemical threats of homeland security importance; focus in detail on modern concepts in chemical sensing; examine the origins of the most significant unmet needs in existing chemical sensors; and, analyze opportunities, specific requirements, and challenges for wireless chemical sensors and wireless sensor networks (WSNs). We further review a new approach for selective chemical sensing that involves the combination of a sensing material that has different response mechanisms to different species of interest, with a transducer that has a multi-variable signal-transduction ability. This new selective chemical-sensing approach was realized using an attractive ubiquitous platform of battery-free passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags adapted for chemical sensing. We illustrate the performance of RFID sensors developed in measurements of toxic industrial materials, humidity-independent detection of toxic vapors, and detection of chemical-agent simulants, explosives, and strong oxidizers.
Highlights ► Brief summary of chemical threats of importance to homeland security. ► Origins of the most significant unmet needs in existing chemical sensors. ► Specific requirements and challenges for wireless chemical sensors and networks. ► New approach to selective wireless chemical sensing. ► New sensors for toxic materials, chemical agent simulants, explosives and oxidizers.
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