Skip to:

Amphibious Unmanned Ground Vehicle Sensor System for Rapid Detection of PFAS in Water

Project Impacts

The payoff of this proposal is a mobile, unmanned, and rapid method for determining the chemical threat of PFOS in water sources for military bases, outposts, and installations. Through the use of an electrochemical sensor, amperometric potentiostat, and wireless telemetry, a water source can be analyzed for carcinogenic materials rapidly while limiting exposure to operators. Additionally, such a method, when scaled to other platforms (UAVs or USVs), can provide logistical advantages of analyzing multiple sites with fewer operators. The payoff is not limited to military operations, but to civilian communities for rapid analysis of drinking water sources of PFAS.

The payoffs of this project are not limited to the detection and analysis of PFAS. The technology and platform developed through this research can be applied to various other chemical agents. Electrochemical sensors can be functionalized to sense various different analytes. Among other chemical warfare agents that can be measured electrochemically are cyanide [12], sulfur mustard agents [13], organophosphorus nerve agents [14], and sarin [15]. Changing the sensor and sensor reservoir on the AM-UGV makes the total system adaptable to changing threats. Additionally, a multi-sensor system can be developed to provide a Lab on a Chip functionality to a mobile, rapid sensory system.

Finally, the payoffs of this project are not limited to the detection of chemical detection in water sources. Changing the design of the extractor and the sensor cassette allows for soil samples and air samples to be taken and analyzed.