To assess the utility of spectroscopy to detect bacterial spores and discriminate between spores of different species of bacteria.
There is potential for the application of gigahertz (GHz) and terahertz (THz) spectroscopic measurements to the detection and discrimination of biological spores. The objective of this effort was to assess the capability of GHz and THz spectroscopy of detecting a biological agent-containing sample. The effort described assessed the utility of spectroscopy in this frequency regime to detect bacterial spores and discriminate between spores of different species of bacteria. The project acquired sufficient data to assess the optimal detection limits of the spectroscopic method and the probability of detection of a spore-containing sample. In addition the program developed a comprehensive model of the GHz and THz phenomenology, an evaluation of the optical extinction and spectral distinction of the bacterial spores, and a basic estimate of the probability of detection afforded by the idealized sensor system deployed in an environmental sensing role to detect and identify biological aerosols.