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Back in the day when science magazines had science, a kid
could find all sorts of laser spy devices, and even the plans
to build them.
A popular instrument usually found in the back pages next
to the X-ray specs was the window-bounce remote laser
With a little effort one could detect vibrations in the glass
made by sounds by bouncing a laser off the window.
A new kind of stealthy laser device is under development
at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw and so
far, testing has been fairly successful.
Using this tool, law enforcement could potentially triage
drivers for a DUI workup by remotely sensing alcohol vapor
in the cab as they drive through their trap.

The study of alcohol as an academic exercise, however,
can be traced to the late 1700s when J.J. perlent proposed
the chemical identification of poisons

In the United States, Indiana University's Prof. Rolla N.
Harger conducted the first-ever "short course" on chemical
tests for intoxication in 1937. Dr. harger also introduced
the Drunk meter, the first stable instrument for testing
breath alcohol, in 1938.

In 1954, Professor Robert F. Borkenstein of Indiana
University invented the Breathalyzer, the first practical
instrument for testing breath alcohol. Whereas
the drankometre required re-calibration when it was
moved from place to place, the Breathalyzer was highly
The device itself actually needs four lasers to even begin to have any kind of
To see why lets consider another police trick used to keep the peace the LIDAR
(LIDAR is a portmanteau of light and radar) speed gun.
Radar guns based on the Doppler effect work fine if youre the only car on the road,
but in traffic something that holds up better in court is needed.
LIDAR provides this accuracy by using time-of-flight detection and the laserlike
focus of well, the laser.
The main sources of inaccuracies in LIDAR are due to differential absorption and
scattering of the beam by things like water vapor, dust, windows, and pigments.
One way some people try to foil LIDAR is to use special paints and clear-coats that
absorb specifically in the 905 nm wavelength used by speed guns.
One way to account for these inherent sources of error, is to use a technique known
as differential absorption LIDAR, or DIAL essentially using two beams with
separate wavelengths, which interact differently with the same material.
The Warsaw team basically uses the same trick, but to specifically detect alcohol
they rely on color vision so to speak.
Ethyl alcohol has a wide absorption band around 3.39 m (3390 nm), while that of
water vapor, which will also be present, is around 3 m (3000 nm).
The team therefore choose to use a 3.39 m HeNe laser to see the alcohol, and a
1.5 m diode reference beam to discriminate it from water.
This is all standard laser fare, the same kind of technology used in pulse-ox to
measure oxygen in your blood.

A blood-oxygen monitor displays the percentage of blood that is loaded with oxygen. More
specifically, it measures what percentage of hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen,
is loaded.
Acceptable normal ranges for patients without pulmonary pathology are from 95 to 99 percent.
For a patient breathing room air at or near sealevel. an estimate of arterial pO
can be made from
the blood-oxygen monitor saturation peripheral oxygen (SpO
) reading.
Pulse oximetry is a particularly convenient noninvasive measurement method.
Typically it utilizes a processor and a pair of small light-emitting diodes (LEDs) facing
a photodiodethrough a translucent part of the patient's body, usually a fingertip or an earlobe. One
LED is red, with wavelength of 660 nm, and the other is infrared with a wavelength of 940 nm.
Absorption of light at these wavelengths differs significantly between blood loaded with oxygen
and blood lacking oxygen.
Oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more infrared light and allows more red light to pass through.
Deoxygenated hemoglobin allows more infrared light to pass through and absorbs more red light.
The LEDs flash about thirty times per second.

The photodiode measures the amount of light that is transmitted (in other words, that is not
The measurement fluctuates in time because the amount of arterial blood that is present
increases (literally pulses) with each heartbeat.
By subtracting the minimum transmitted light from the peak transmitted light in each wavelength,
the effects of other tissues is corrected for.

The ratio of the red light measurement to the infrared light measurement is then calculated by
the processor (which represents the ratio of oxygenated hemoglobin to deoxygenated
hemoglobin), and this ratio is then converted to SpO
by the processor via a lookup table.

Color vision is the ability of an organism or
machine to distinguish objects based on
the wavelengths (or frequencies) of
the light reflect, emit, or transmit.
Colors can be measured and quantified in
various ways;
indeed, a human's perception of colors is a
subjective process whereby the brain responds
to the stimuli that are produced when incoming
light reacts with the several types of cone
photoreceptors in the eye.
In essence, different people see the same
illuminated object or light source in different
Calibration is a comparison between measurements one of known
magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another
measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device.
The device with the known or assigned correctness is called the standard.
The second device is the unit under test, test instrument, or any of
several other names for the device being calibrated.
The formal definition of calibration by the International Bureau of
Weights and Measures is the following: "Operation that, under specified
in a first step, establishes a relation between the quantity values with
measurement uncertainties provided by measurement standards and
Indications with associated measurement uncertainties (of the calibrated
instrument or secondary standard) and,
in a second step, uses this information to establish a relation for
obtaining a measurement result from an indication."

A curved mirror is a mirror with a curved reflective
surface, which may be either convex (bulging
outward) or concave (bulging inward).
Most curved mirrors have surfaces that are shaped
like part of a sphere, but other shapes are sometimes
used in optical devices.
The most common non-spherical type are parabolic
reflectors, found in optical devices such as reflecting
telescopes that need to image distant objects, since
spherical mirror systems, like spherical lenses, suffer
from spherical aberration.
One advantage that mirror optics have over lens
optics is that mirrors do not introduce chromatic
An oscilloscope, previously called an oscillograph, and informally known
as a scope, CRO (for cathode-ray oscilloscope), or DSO(for the more
modern digital storage oscilloscope), is a type of electronic test
instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages,
usually as a two-dimensional plot of one or more signals as a function of
Non-electrical signals (such as sound or vibration) can be converted to
voltages and displayed.
Oscilloscopes are used to observe the change of an electrical signal over
time, such that voltage and time describe a shape which is continuously
graphed against a calibrated scale.
The observed waveform can be analyzed for such properties
as amplitude, frequency,rise time, time interval, distortion and others.
Modern digital instruments may calculate and display these properties
Originally, calculation of these values required manually measuring the
waveform against the scales built into the screen of the instrument.
Easy and Efficient To Test
Quick and Accurate Results
Helpful For Organizations and Police
Breathalyzers are portable hand held
Breathalyzers provide quick and accurate
results in few seconds. The alcohol detection
sensor in breathalyzers is sensitive enough to
detect presence of alcohol with considerable

Breathalyzers do not measure your blood
alcohol content (BAC) as a blood test would.
Rather, they use an algorithm to estimate
your blood alcohol concentration.
Alcohol Source
The Breathalyzer works on the assumption
that all of the air blown into it comes from
deep inside the lungs; a blood alcohol
concentration percentage is then determined
using a programmed ratio ..