New aerosol scanner developed for use in the field

A new, compact scanning system to detect low concentrations of aerosols at mid- to long-range distances was recently developed to aid in the detection of biological agents.

The Wehrwissenschaftliches Institut fur Schutztechnologien, a research center located in Munster, Germany, invented a biological aerosol lidar detector, known as a BALI, that uses an eye-safe operated fiver laser as a scanning system, according to

The majority of current approaches to using laser remote sensing devices are centered on getting the most information out of an aerosol cloud at short or mid-range distances. In addition, an aerosolized biological agent is unlikely to radiate the high levels of electromagnetic waves for passive detection, and must, therefore, be the target of an active emitting source such as a laser beam.

"Whereas most other systems primarily analyze aerosols hit by a fixed detection beam, we switched our attention first to detecting the aerosol," Frank Wilsenack of the WIS said, reports. "Hence we decided to aim to detect aerosol clouds with a very low concentration of particles that evolve in space and time. This time evolution of the covered space should hint at the emitting source and at the aerosol type."

WIS plans to test the new scanner system soon and expects initial results by the end of 2013.