A gas detecting system for classifying the type of liquid fuel in a container or tank. The system includes a plurality of semiconductor gas sensors, each of which differs from the other in its response to various organic vapors. The system includes a means of processing the responses of the plurality of sensors such that the responses to any particular organic substance or mixture is sufficiently distinctive to constitute a recognizable "signature". The signature of known substances are collected and divided into two classes based on some other known characteristic of the substances. A pattern recognition system classifies the signature of an unknown substance with reference to the two user-defined classes, thereby classifying the unknown substance with regard to the characteristic of interest, such as its suitability for a particular use.
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The research was funded through the Office of Arms Control (DP-5), Systems and Technology Division. The Government has certain rights in this invention.