DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Miragliotta, J. A.  “Optical Sensors for Chemical and Biological Detection.”  The Johns Hopkins
            University Applied Physics Laboratory.  2008.  Web.  13 September 2009.

 

Summary

            Although a convoluted topic, this article basically describes how APL is helping to research optical sensors.  Optical sensor systems rapidly detect chemical and biological agents, and can be engineered for highly sensitive detection of both simple and complex materials.  The article describes that APL utilizes fluorescence and “enhanced Raman scattering” for detection and that APL has been (for the five past year) participating in designing sensor platforms for molecular oxygen and aflatoxin detection.  More and more, though, a new optical sensor platform is being developed that incorporates enhanced Raman scattering, nanotechnology, and novel spectrometer design, all of which are much more efficient.

 

Application to Research

            While looking through the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory website, I looked through work that I thought was pertinent to what I will be studying at my internship.  Although I do not know much about what I will be doing with my mentor yet, I know that my mentor does a lot of research with tracking and detection, so I figured this article may be relevant.  I followed most of the article, but something that needs further research is what “enhanced Raman scattering” refers to – it was mentioned throughout the article and I could get the gist of it, but maybe I could research this topic further. 

 

Cao, YunWei Charles and Chad A. Mirkin. "Nanoparticles with Raman spectroscopic

            fingerprints for DNA and RNA detection."  Gale Encyclopedia of Science. 30 Aug. 2002:

            Student Resource Center - Gold.  Web. 13 Sep. 2009

 

Summary

            This article, by YunWei Charles Cao and Chad A. Mirkin, helped me to understand the last article I read (and many others that have to do with APL’s research in detection), by explaining Raman spectroscopy in detail.  I found that Raman spectroscopy is a spectroscopic technique “used to study vibrational, rotational, and other low-frequency modes in a system.”  It uses lasers of monochromatic light (light of a single wavelength) to give information about the phonon modes in the system. The article explains that infrared spectroscopy yields similar information, and explains Raman spectroscopy’s use in DNA/RNA detection.

 

Application to Research
            Although I do not know how pertinent to my internship this article was, it helped to make puzzling information more comprehensible.  Also, my mentor, who at our first interview explained that I would have to do a lot of research and reading of difficult articles if I were to be his intern, may be impressed if he did happen to mention Raman spectroscopy, and I knew exactly about what he was speaking.  Because this article is centered around DNA and RNA, a question that came up is: for what else is Raman spectroscopy being researched and used?  (For example, the article briefly mentions that “Raman spectroscopy is being investigated as a means to detect explosives for airport security.”)

 

Jenkins, Jason E., John Samsundar and Vincent F. Neradka.  “A Design Methodology for

            Optimal Power Generation in High Altitude Airships Using Genetic Algorithms.” The

            Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  2005.  Web.  13 September 2009.

 

Summary

            This article, co-written by my mentor Dr. Samsundar, describes APL’s role in the development of a “ligher-than-air High Altitude Reconnaissance Vehicle” (HARVe) that aids with surveillance and communication.  The vehicle is a sphere made out of flat surfaces, each of which is a solar panel; the vehicle is solar-powered.  HARVe will hover at about 100,000 feet for a duration of months, continually sending data back and forth to Earth.  Because this seems to only be an introduction to a much longer (and secretive) article, not much more information is given.

 

Application to Research

            I initially read this article because I found it when searching for work that my mentor has written or co-written.  It was, however, very interesting to read, especially because I am becoming more and more interested in the art of engineering.  I wondered, after reading this article, for what reasons the shape of HARVe is spherical (is a sphere more aerodynamic?).  I was also interested in the solar paneling, which I found very interesting but perplexing; because the whole surface of HARVe is made out of solar panels, is it much easier for the airship to be powered?

 

"Gizmo (Technology): New Tool to Trace Criminals."  Gale Encyclopedia of Science. 24 June

            2006: Student Resource Center - Gold.  Web. 13 Sep. 2009

 

Summary

            This article in Gizmo is about a very interesting new gadget called “SkySeer,” which will eventually be used to help track criminals.  It is an unmanned aircraft the size of a child’s toy, and it is being tested in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  The drone was developed by Florida-based Octatron and weighs about 2.3 kilograms.  It can fly at up to 48 kilometers per hour for 70 minutes.  There is a small video camera fixed to the underside of the drone, and it sends pictures directly to a command station.

 

Application to Research

            SkySeer is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which my prospective mentors at APL and I spoke a lot about at my interview.  It also has to do with tracking, with which my mentor, Dr. Samsundar, does plenty of research; interestingly, it also has to do with criminology/forensics, my original interest going into the Intern/Mentor program.  The computer science used to program UAVs is also relevant to my internship.  Unmanned aerial vehicles are a very interesting concept, and I remember wondering through my interview what UAVs are primarily used for: are many of them used for surveillance, or is this a new notion?
 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.