Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Safety Spectrometer

Safety Spectrometer
Eric Rosenthal | Make Vol. 14- 2008 | Pdf | 2 pgs | 1 mb
After air travel security banned bottled water and
baby formula, I began wondering why they didn't
use a device to determine the contents of liquids. If a
liquid was detected to be safe, security could allow it
on the plane. Spectrometers can identify the chemi-
cal makeup of a material by shining light on it and
analyzing the precise mix of colors that bounce back.

These devices are usually very expensive, but
I've designed a simple and inexpensive one that can
identify liquids. You can also adapt it to determine
the color of a swatch of paper or cloth or to identify
a gem or semiprecious stone.

I spent less than $100 on this project and it took
just a few days to design, fabricate, and test the hard-
ware, plus another two days to write and debug the
source code. Collecting the liquids and building the
database took one evening, and it was fun!

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