Detection of explosives vapors is an extremely difficult task. The sensitivity of currently constructed detectors is often insufficient. The paper presents a description of an explosive vapors concentrator that improves the detection limit of some explosives detectors. These detectors have been developed at the Institute of Optoelectronics. The concentrator is especially dedicated to operate with nitrogen oxide detectors. Preliminary measurements show that using the concentrator, the recorded amount of nitrogen dioxide released from a 0.5 ng sample of TNT increases by a factor of approx. 20. In the concentrator an induction heater is applied. Thanks to this and because of the miniaturization of the container with an adsorbing material (approx. 1 cm3), an extremely high rate of temperature growth is achieved (up to 500 °C within approx. 25 s). The concentration process is controlled by a microcontroller. Compact construction and battery power supply provide a possibility of using the concentrator as a portable device.
Sensing technology has been developed for detection of gases in some environmental, industrial, medical, and scientific applications. The main tasks of these works is to enhance performance of gas sensors taking into account their different applicability and scenarios of operation. This paper presents the descriptions, comparison and recent progress in some existing gas sensing technologies. Detailed introduction to optical sensing methods is presented. In a general way, other kinds of various sensors, such as catalytic, thermal conductivity, electrochemical, semiconductor and surface acoustic wave ones, are also presented. Furthermore, this paper focuses on performance of the optical method in detecting biomarkers in the exhaled air. There are discussed some examination results of the constructed devices. The devices operated on the basis of enhanced cavity and wavelength modulation spectroscopies. The experimental data used for analyzing applicability of these different sensing technologies in medical screening. Several suggestions related to future development are also discussed.