The External Aerodynamics of Canine Olfaction

  • Gary S. Settles
  • Douglas A. Kester
  • Lori J. Dodson-Dreibelbis


Following a review of precedent literature, flow visualization techniques are used to observe external canine olfactory airflows. This reveals the canine nostril as a variable-geometry aerodynamic sampler, being alternately a potential-flow inlet during inspiration and an outlet flow diverter during expiration. Close nostril proximity to a scent source is important. Separate flow pathways are provided for the inspired and expired air by way of nostril flexure. During sniffing, the nostril midlateral slits open to direct the expired air rearward and to the sides, away from the object being scented. If particulates are present on a surface being scented, they are readily disturbed by these expired jets and can be subsequently inspired. These and other results are brought to bear upon aerodynamic sampling for purposes of chemosensing, in which a sampler or sniffer acquires the airborne trace signal and presents it to an appropriate detector. Preliminary results from a laboratory-prototype sniffer are given.


Ground Plane Standoff Distance Schlieren Image Precedent Literature Trace Detection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baturin VV (1971) Fundamentals of Industrial Ventilation. Pergamon, NYGoogle Scholar
  2. Benyus JM (1997) Biomimicry. Morrow, NYGoogle Scholar
  3. Bojsen-Moeller F, Fahrenkrug J (1971) Nasal swell bodies and cyclic changes in the air passages of the rat and rabbit nose. J Anatomy 110: 25–37Google Scholar
  4. Cant R, Castro I, Walklate P (2002) Plane jets impinging on porous walls. Expts Fluids 32: 16–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng YS, Hansen GK, Su YF, Yeh HC, Morgan KT (1990) Deposition of ultrafine aerosols in rat nasal molds. Toxicology & App Pharm 106: 222–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Evans HE (1993) Miller’s Anatomy of the Dog, 3rd ed., Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  7. Glauert MB (1956) The wall jet. J Fluid Mech 1(5): 625–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Glebovskii V, Marevskaya A (1968) Participation of muscles of the nostrils in olfactory analysis and respiration in rabbits. Fiz Zhur SSSR 54: 1278–1286Google Scholar
  9. Goodfellow H, Tähti E (eds) (2001) Local ventilation. Ch. 10 of Industrial Ventilation Design Guidebook. Academic Press, NYGoogle Scholar
  10. Gowadia HA, Settles GS (2001) The natural sampling of airborne trace signals from explosives concealed upon the human body. J Forensic Science 46(6): 1324–1331Google Scholar
  11. Haselton FR, Sperandio PGN (1988) Convective exchange between the nose and the atmosphere. J Appl Physiol 64(6): 2575–2581PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Heinsohn RJ (1991) Industrial Ventilation. Wiley, NYGoogle Scholar
  13. Heinsohn RJ, Cimbala JM (2002) Indoor Air Quality Engineering. Marcel Dekker, NYGoogle Scholar
  14. Jackson CN, Sherlock CN, Moore PO (eds) (1998) Leak testing. In: Nondestructive Testing Handbook. Vol. 1, 2nd ed. Amer Soc. For Nondestructive TestingGoogle Scholar
  15. Jenkins TF, Walsh ME, Miyares PH, Kopczynski JA, Ranney TA, George V, Pennington JC, Berry TE (2000) Analysis of explosives-related chemical signatures in soil samples collected near buried land mines. Technical Report ERDC TR-00–5, US Army Corps of Engrs CRRELGoogle Scholar
  16. Liu BYH, Pui DYH (1986) Aerosol sampling and sampling inlets. In: Lee SD (ed) Aerosols. Lewis Publishers Inc, Chelsea, Michigan, USAGoogle Scholar
  17. Merzkirch W (1984) Flow Visualization, 2nd ed. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. Settles GS (2000) Chemical trace detection portal based on the natural airflow and heat transfer of the human body. US Patent 6,073,499Google Scholar
  19. Settles GS (2001) Schlieren and Shadowgraph Techniques. Springer-Verlag, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Settles GS, Kester DA (2001) Aerodynamic sampling for landmine trace detection. SPIE vol. 4394, paper 108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Settles GS, McGann WJ (2001) Potential for portal detection of human chemical and biological contamination. SPIE vol. 4378, paper 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Smedley GT, Phares DJ, Flagan RC (1999) Entrainment of fine particles from surfaces by gas jets impinging at normal incidence. Expts Fluids 26: 324–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Strada G (1996) The horror of land mines. Sci Am 278(5): 40–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Syrotuck WG (1972) Scent and the Scenting Dog. Amer Pubs, Rome NYGoogle Scholar
  25. Thomas EM (1993) The Hidden Life of Dogs. Houghton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  26. Vogel S (1994) Nature’s pumps. Amer Scientist 82(5): 464–471Google Scholar
  27. Zuschneid K (1973) Die Riechleistung des Hundes. Doctoral Diss, Vet Med, Free Univ BerlinGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary S. Settles
  • Douglas A. Kester
  • Lori J. Dodson-Dreibelbis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations