Sampling Technique for Robust Odorant Detection Based on MIT RealNose Data

This technique enhances the detection capability of the autonomous RealNose system from MIT to detect odorants and their concentrations in noisy and transient environments. The low-cost, portable system with low power consumption will operate at high speed and is suited for unmanned and remotely operated long-life applications.

A deterministic mathematical model was developed to detect odorants and calculate their concentration in noisy environments. Real data from MIT’s NanoNose was examined, from which a signal conditioning technique was proposed to enable robust odorant detection for the RealNose system. Its sensitivity can reach to sub-part-per-billion (sub-ppb).

A Space Invariant Independent Component Analysis (SPICA) algorithm was developed to deal with non-linear mixing that is an over-complete case, and it is used as a preprocessing step to recover the original odorant sources for detection. This approach, combined with the Cascade Error Projection (CEP) Neural Network algorithm, was used to perform odorant identification.

Signal conditioning is used to identify potential processing windows to enable robust detection for autonomous systems. So far, the software has been developed and evaluated with current data sets provided by the MIT team. However, continuous data streams are made available where even the occurrence of a new odorant is unannounced and needs to be noticed by the system autonomously before its unambiguous detection. The challenge for the software is to be able to separate the potential valid signal from the odorant and from the noisy transition region when the odorant is just introduced.

This work was done by Tuan A. Duong of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact iaoffice@ jpl.nasa.gov. NPO-47488

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