11 February 2018
The paper deals with a functional instability of electronic nose (e-nose) units which significantly limits their real-life applications. Here we demonstrate how to approach this issue with example of an e-nose based on a metal oxide sensor array developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany). We consider the instability of e-nose operation at different time scales ranging from minutes to many years. To test the e-nose we employ open-air and headspace sampling of analyte odors. The multivariate recognition algorithm to process the multisensor array signals is based on the linear discriminant analysis method. Accounting for the received results, we argue that the stability of device operation is mostly affected by accidental changes in the ambient air composition. To overcome instabilities, we introduce the add-training procedure which is found to successfully manage both the temporal changes of ambient and the drift of multisensor array properties, even long-term. The method can be easily implemented in practical applications of e-noses and improve prospects for device marketing.