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Table 2 Electronic nose applications

From: Olfaction as a soldier-- a review of the physiology and its present and future use in the military

Electronic nose applications Techniques currently being employed Benefits in the military Disadvantages
Detection of Explosives (Landmines) • By humans with simple metal detectors
• Human-dog teams (faster)
• Save human lives
•Work around the clock
• Improve security for humans (good warning tool)
• Conserve marine ecology
• Need to outperform dogs
• Require high sensitivity and high selectivity
• Need to be low maintenance
• Need to be robust
Environmental Monitoring • Traditional Methods: Olfactometry measurements
• Interpreted by qualified humans and identification with analytical instruments
• Detect toxic chemicals
• Detect smoke [50]
• Indoor air quality [5154]
• Automotive ventilation control [55, 56]
• Measure water quality
• Sampling is difficult
• Needs to be representative of the surroundings
• Need to be adjustable to standardized humidity and temperature.
Medical Diagnostics and Health Monitoring • Olfaction to help in diagnosis largely ignored [62] with availability of modern diagnostic techniques Tested with
• bacteria [69, 70]
• metabolic diseases [9, 74, 75]
• monitoring hemodialysis [76].
• Need to reduce the false-positive and false-negative rates
• Need to understand the impact of common factors (nutrition [77, 78] and medication [79]) on humans
Automotive and Aerospace Applications • Currently conceptual
• Used in NASA’s STS-95 flight
Beneficial uses:
• Monitor exhaust to feedback to engine for higher combustion efficiency
• Monitor the cabin air for passenger safety
• Need for devices that are cheap and small
• Need to be able to detect a variety of relevant odors for particular applications.
Food and Beverage Quality Assurance • Adherence to use-by dates
• Use by dates determined by experimental research
• Able to ensure whether food is edible in times of crises and different environments
• More sensitive and accurate [81]
• Spoilage compounds differ with different types of food and beverage [85].