Jonas Ljungblad at our Alcohol Sensing Division is becoming a PhD. Scroll down to read more about his dissertation "High performance breath alcohol analysis".
Alcohol breath testing on a larger scale will save lives. Alcohol intake affects the human body by significantly longer response time to external stimuli. In demanding situations where the senses need to be on alert a prolonged reaction time can be the difference between life and death, both for the intoxicated subject and for surrounding individuals.
The aims of this thesis include investigations of a new type of breath alcohol sensor, designed for operation without a mouthpiece, both with regards to sensor performance as well as usability in relation to various breath alcohol screening applications.
In many situations where breath alcohol screening is suitable, there is a need for quick and easy use. The instrument should interfere as little as possible with the regular routines and procedures. One such task is driving. To accommodate for these needs in an in-vehicle application, the breath alcohol sensing system must be seamlessly installed in the vehicle and not interfere with the normal behavior of the sober driver. Driving is also a task requiring high level of concentration over a prolonged period of time. In the U.S. alone thousands of lives are annually lost in accidents where the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Similar numbers have been recorded for Europe. The potential for a system handling the needs for ease-of-use is huge and may result in successful products.
The results presented within this thesis provide experimental evidence of sufficient sensor performance for screening applications with an instrument operating without a mouthpiece. Smarter calculation methods were also shown to be a feasible path to improved measurement reliability. Important steps towards an even more passive solution for in-vehicle screening is also presented. Experiments showed that given enough time and sensor resolution, passive alcohol detection systems are feasible.