An autonomous monitoring system for monitoring for bioagents. A collector gathers the air, water, soil, or substance being monitored. A sample preparation means for preparing a sample is operatively connected to the collector. A detector for detecting the bioagents in the sample is operatively connected to the sample preparation means. One embodiment of the present invention includes confirmation means for confirming the bioagents in the sample.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.