Coastal scientists have invented electronic nose — device that can detect even subtle smells dangerous. While the smart machine responds only to ammonia, but in the future it will be taught to determine, for example, the explosives. And even make diagnoses.
Electronic nose is still not as compact as the natural counterpart, but his instincts are not fooled. The green line on the computer screen began to decline sharply — so is in the air with ammonia.
"The sensitivity of our system allows you to register dozens of odor molecules per billion molecules of other. In fact, at the level of noise "- explains Alexander Sergeyev, a junior researcher at the Institute of Automation and Control Processes FEB RAS.
Chitosan — natural sorbent, which means that he will be able to keep the odor molecules. This also adds an indicator dye, due to which a piece of glass becomes analogous to litmus paper. Next substrate is placed in a special cell — under laser radiation. In this case, the light is repeatedly reflected inside the film, and interact with the indicator. When surrounded by a film test gas appears, color changes and changes transmitted laser power.
While electronic nose "coached" only to ammonia. The substrate with a yellow dye exposed to the vapor of the gas turns blue. And if the first of the laser light passed through it without difficulty, the blue glass absorbs red light. Therefore, the output power is reduced, as evidenced by a sharp drop the signal level on the monitor.
"This system feels better than the human nose. The only thing — can not yet recognize smells. Going forward, it must sew the neural network. Able to distinguish between ", — says Yuri Kul'chin, director of the Institute of Automation and Control Processes, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Perhaps soon the device will become pickier in flavors — the Institute is conducting research with sulfur dioxide and hydrogen chloride.
Scope of the electronic nose is huge — he will be able to monitor the leakage of gas, signal the threat of fire, smell the smell of crime: explosives and drugs. Even he can help doctors make a diagnosis — Scientists have proven that the disease also have a smell.
Man in olfaction engineers managed to outdo FEB RAS. But as long as the palm of dogs — their sense of smell is still thinner than the electronics.