Mass Spectrometer Threat Identification System

Reference#: P01406

there is typically an abundant sample available for analysis in TOF and other mass spectrometers located in a laboratory. Thus, a highly resolved spectrum may be achieved by repeated ionization and detection of the analyte. By contrast, in the field, only a small and diffuse sample may be available for collection from the environment. In addition, for a laboratory mass spectromenter, the samples are often prepared in a liquid state and placed in the extraction region. Because the extraction region of a typical laboratory mass spectrometer is relatively large, the small protrusion of such a liquid sample into the extraction region does not provide a substantial impact on the acceleration of the emitted ions. However, if such a liquid sample were used in a more compact extraction region of a mass spectrometer adapted for portable field use, the protrusion would affect the resulting energy imparted to the ions. In addition, liquid sample preparation in a field adapted mass spectrometer would be susceptible to freezing, spoiling, etc.

A controller that processes the mass spectrum of a sample provided by a detector of a mass spectrometer, for example, by a field portable mass spectrometer system. The controller provides a constant false alarm rate (CFAR) processing of the mass spectral data received. The CFAR processes the mass spectral data to determine noise included in the mass spectral data and outputs spectral peaks when the mass spectral data exceeds a threshold that reflects the noise included in the spectral data. The output peaks are compared with spectral peaks for known threats stored in a database and a notification that a known threat is present in the sample is provided if there is a correspondence between one or more output spectral peaks and one or more spectral peaks of a known threat as stored in the data base.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 7,091,479 issued.

Dr. G. R. Jacobovitz
Phone: (443) 778-9899

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Patent Drawing