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Laser-Based Water Sensors in the Works

Photonics.com
Jun 2004
SAN DIEGO, June 21 -- Jmar Technologies Inc. said it will collaborate with The LXT Group to produce a pathogen early-warning system for the drinking water industry.
Jmar said the system, called BioSentry, will provide continuous, real-time surveillance, detection and identification of waterborne microorganisms and will alert authorities to contamination events. Typical installations will consist of multiple laser-illuminated sensor units, configured and networked to meet the needs of bottled water suppliers, water treatment plants, water distribution systems and critical facilities.
Initial equipment installation, automated monitoring, information dissemination and periodic maintenance can be accommodated by existing water treatment and delivery infrastructures, Jmar said.
Jmar, based in San Diego, makes advanced laser, sensor and custom systems for the semiconductor, biotechnology, homeland security and nanotechnology markets. The LXT Group is an Escondido provider of scientific analysis and engineering design services.

The companies said although many water utilities monitor for pathogens, current methods sample only intermittently and require a relatively long time for analysis.

LXT staff has recently completed several site vulnerability assessments under the Environmental Protection Agency-directed Bioterrorism Act. LXT has also developed light-scattering techniques to detect and classify microscopic organisms.

Jmar said it augments LXT's technology and applications knowledge with expertise in laser science and design engineering to speed product development and launch. The companies said the first BioSentry units, currently in the prototype stage, are expected to be available in 2005, after which production will be increased.

For more information, visit: www.jmar.com



GLOSSARY
laser detector
Device that operates by interaction of incident radiation with semiconductor based material in order to produce an electrical signal orby other means, to interact with calorimetric devices which produce a thermally induced current. The response of the detection devices will vary by the source wavelength, intensity and energy.
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