Lightweight analytic tool could improve detection technology

scientist in lab coat wearing protective eyewear

Image: Dwight Look College of Engineering

A new lightweight, energy-efficient tool for analyzing a material’s chemical makeup could improve the detection abilities of various technologies, ranging from bomb-detecting drones to space rovers searching for signs of life, says a Texas A&M University biomedical engineer who is part of the team developing the instrument.

The tool uses optical-communications fiber to collect and transmit light as it interacts with the material being studied, according to Vladislav Yakovlev, professor of biomedical engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering.

Compared with conventional technology, the newly designed measurement system is 95 percent lighter, requires 65 percent less energy and costs about a third as much, he said.

The system is detailed in the latest issue of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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