Skip navigation
Development of an Electronic Nose for Quick Detection of Explosives


Narrator:    This is Science Today. A multi-disciplinary team is working to develop an ‘electronic nose' - an ultra-sensitive sensor system for quick detection of explosives that can be useful in high-traffic, high-risk areas. Yushan Yan, a chemical engineer at the University of California, Riverside is part of the development team.

Yan:    Our goal is we're going to generate a very, very small device that can provide very fast detection, meaning real-time and it should be very low cost. In terms of where we can use it, certainly in the airport where you need a quick detection of the explosive signatures that will be very useful.

   Yan says they can also use such a device to detect landmines worldwide.

Yan:    These landmines are killing people, mostly civilians on a yearly basis, a very large number. If we could have a very small device, put it onto a robotic device and then we can do the detection, that's going to save a lot of lives.

    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.