SECReT 2010 PhD projects
- Metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors as an electronic nose for the detection of microbial agents
- What are the factors that make communities vulnerable to, or resistant against, the emergence of radicalising settings?
- Covert taggant nanoparticle inks - discovery, process and product development, and analysis for sustainability and efficiency
- Diffusion processes of political violence: The role of information
- Engineering IT risk awareness, education and training
- Three-dimentional imaging of baggage for security applications.
- Understanding the traffic-driven epidemic spreading in scale-free networks
- Optimal search and detection of targets in an uncertain environment using unmanned aerial vehicle
- Explosive residue: Evaluation and optimisation of detection and sampling procedures
- Forecasting adversary’s scenarios: Systemic competitive red teaming
- Secure digital archive and web search using a Probably Approximately Correct architecture
- Mobilising community resilience through techno-social innovation
- Numerical modelling/empirical analysis of civil conflict
- Landmine, IED, UXO Detection using Ground Penetrating Radar from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
- Towards a usable and less disruptive security in the workplace
- Securing from exploits using information theoretical techniques
- Crime drop in Chile: Searching for causes and mechanisms
- Inferring user behaviour despite wireless network encryption
- The Chain of Evidence - a critical appraisal of the applicability and validity of forensic research and the usability of forensic evidence
Metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors as an electronic nose for the detection of microbial agents
7 March 2012
For homeland security applications, reliable detection of biological agents in-field and in real time is challenging. The UK government’s CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy states one of its ‘prepare’ objectives as “improve preparedness for the highest impact risks in the National Risk Assessment”, which includes terrorist attacks that makes use of unconventional weapons such as biological materials (Home Office, 2001). A significant issue is the lack of a sensitive and reliable in-field biological agent detection system, posing potentially adverse consequences for national security (Arnon, 2001).
Conventional analytical equipment such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry can circumvent some limitations experienced with canines (Hoffmann, 1997) but these methods are often time consuming and bench-bound so cannot be used in-field. Electronic noses (e-noses) offer an alternative technology. Solid state metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) gas sensors are one of the most common commercially used chemical sensors in e-noses and are used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental monitoring (Capone, 2003). We propose to develop a MOS gas sensing array for the detection of gases associated with a microbial agent. Such gases are often simple in nature (Scotter, 2005) but compact detection systems are usually outmanoeuvred by bench-top instrumentation in terms of real-time analysis (Scotter, 2006). With the appropriate sensing material, MOS sensors have a fast response with quick recovery times. This alongside their small size, robust nature and inexpensive construction makes them desirable candidates for such an application.