A computer program corrects for the effects of humidity on the readouts of an array of chemical sensors (an "electronic nose"). To enable the use of this program, the array must incorporate an independent humidity sensor in addition to sensors designed to detect analytes other than water vapor. The basic principle of the program was described in "Compensating for Effects of Humidity on Electronic Noses" (NPO- 30615), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 6 (June 2004), page 63. To recapitulate: The output of the humidity sensor is used to generate values that are subtracted from the outputs of the other sensors to correct for contributions of humidity to those readings. Hence, in principle, what remains after corrections are the contributions of the analytes only.

The outputs of the non-humidity sensors are then deconvolved to obtain the concentrations of the analytes. In addition, the humidity reading is retained as an analyte reading in its own right. This subtraction of the humidity background increases the ability of the software to identify such events as spills in which contaminants may be present in small concentrations and accompanied by large changes in humidity.

This program was written by Hanying Zhou of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-30859.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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