Chemical Identification Device for First Responders

Period of Performance: 09/01/2006 - 03/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.
2520 W. 237th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90505
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary/Abstract: Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. (IOS) proposes to develop a rugged, handheld, lightweight autonomous chemical identification device that will enable first responders to rapidly and accurately identify and define contamination site boundaries. IOS's innovative sensor device will be based on a multi-agent optical sensor array. It will incorporate a disposable chip comprised of chemically sensitive and highly selective optical waveguides. With waveguide widths on the order of 100 microns, the chip's high packing density will allow multiple chemical substances to be detected simultaneously with very low false alarm rates. The device will use an advanced system of semiconductor light sources and detectors to monitor changes in the light guided through the sensors. The optoelectronics and signal processing of this device will be controlled internally, and threat information will be visually displayed. The chips will be highly reproducible, reliable, and inexpensive, and will have a long shelf life when packaged, thus allowing them to be disposable and stored in quantity. In Phase I of this project, IOS will demonstrate the feasibility of the multi-agent optical sensor array approach by developing sensitive, fast acting, and selective waveguide based sensors for three high threat level chemical agents (HCN, H2S and Cl2). In Phase II, IOS will develop a prototype chemical identification device. Project Narrative: Public health will benefit from such a device for several reasons. First, the information it yields can guide responders to the correct degree of protective clothing required. It will also provide data that will help to determine the correct treatment for an exposed individual.