Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser device can detect alcohol in cars: External device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car

Date:
June 2, 2014
Source:
SPIE
Summary:
An external laser device can detect the present of alcohol vapors in passing vehicles. The use of the device is simple: The laser system is set up on the side of the road to monitor each car that passes by. If alcohol vapors are detected in the car, a message with a photo of the car including its license plate is sent to a police officer waiting down the road. Then, the police officer stops the car and checks for signs of alcohol using conventional tests.

A new open-access article in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing is garnering attention for research that could aid in the campaign to prevent drunk driving: a device that can detect alcohol in cars. The Journal of Applied Remote Sensing is published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The article "Stand-off detection of alcohol in car cabins," by Jarosław Młyńczak, Jan Kubicki, and Krzysztof Kopczyński of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, details experiments using an external laser device to detect the presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car. The device was constructed at the university's Institute of Optoelectronics based on previous research from a 2013 paper by the same authors.

Stand-off detection is a chemical and biological compound identification method using a laser that takes place at a distance from people to reduce the potential for damage. The authors note that the use of stand-off detection for chemical identification is already described in many papers, but that developments in the types of lasers that can be used in this application have been made in recent years, including "eye-safe" microchip lasers.

"This work illustrates how remote sensing technologies affect our everyday life," said Marco Gianinetto of the Politecnico di Milano, an associate editor with the journal. "We all are already familiar with laser instruments used by the police for speed-limit enforcement. Now these researchers have demonstrated how a laser device could be effectively used for detecting drunken drivers and thereby helping to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. In the future, a similar technology may be developed to detect different chemical compounds, enabling the detection of drivers under the influence of other intoxicants."

The use of the device is simple: The laser system is set up on the side of the road to monitor each car that passes by. If alcohol vapors are detected in the car, a message with a photo of the car including its number plate is sent to a police officer waiting down the road. Then, the police officer stops the car and checks for signs of alcohol using conventional tests.

The authors note that the device would likely also identify cars where the driver is sober but the passengers are not, or if there is spilled alcohol in the car, but that the device "will surely decrease the number of cars that have to be checked by police and, at the same time, will increase efficacy of stopping drunken drivers."

The device was tested with a car deployed on the road while the laser stayed in the laboratory next to an open window, making it possible to extensively monitor the device.

The researchers simulated alcohol vapor coming from a human lung by evaporating a water solution of alcohol of an appropriate concentration and at an appropriate temperature. The results showed that the presence of alcohol vapors was detected at concentrations of 0.1% and greater.

"From the practical point of view, there seem to be some countermeasures, such as driving with windows open, solar screens on the side windows, etc., that can be applied by drivers to deceive the system," the authors wrote in their conclusion. "However, such situations are very easily detected by the system, which sends this information to the policeman indicating that the car should be checked."

Other issues, including driving with air-conditioning or fans, will be investigated in the next stages of the ongoing project, as well as addressing commercialization concerns including creating a device that is more compact, robust and user-friendly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SPIE. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jaroslaw Mlynczak, Jan Kubicki, Krzysztof Kopczynski. Stand-off detection of alcohol in car cabins. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 2014; 8 (1): 083627 DOI: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.083627

Cite This Page:

SPIE. "Laser device can detect alcohol in cars: External device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602155959.htm>.
SPIE. (2014, June 2). Laser device can detect alcohol in cars: External device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602155959.htm
SPIE. "Laser device can detect alcohol in cars: External device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602155959.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins