IOS researchers have developed cutting-edge technologies, including fiber optic sensors for pressure, temperature, electromagnetic fields, and a wide variety of chemicals; acoustic emission sensors; non-destructive visual and laser ultrasonic inspection systems; advanced signal and image processing systems; specialty light sources; and non-lethal weapons.

Areas of environmental research include water quality monitoring, air quality monitoring, and the innovative use of Raman spectroscopy for toxic waste characterization. Recent advances by IOS researchers in the design and construction of optical instruments and advanced bioanalytical sensors have laid a solid foundation for the development of easy-to-use, reliable test kits for environmental monitoring.

In our test kits for water quality monitoring, a microarray test strip bears nanoparticles as detection labels, and incorporates multiple antibodies to broaden the detection profile. A simple, easy-to-use, portable reader measures the quantum dots sequestered on the lateral flow membranes. The microarray test strip assay represents a novel and easy-to-use means of measuring multiple waterborne pathogens such as E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and is useful for both drinking water and beach water monitoring.