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Proceedings Paper

Chemical vapor detection and mapping with a multispectral forward-looking infrared (FLIR)
Author(s): Mark L.G. Althouse; Chein-I Chang
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Paper Abstract

Detection of chemical vapors with a remote sensor is a requirement for both military defense and civilian pollution control. The FLIR is a natural instrument from which to build a chemical sensor since most chemical vapors of interest are spectrally active within its operating wavelength range, it is widely distributed in the battlefield, and it is becoming a standard surveillance tool in police departments. Additionally, the output image provides a 2D concentration map of the cloud which is easily interpreted by a lightly trained operator. A system has been designed to provide the spectral sensitivity in a dedicated instrument or to place a chemical detection capability as an adjunct function in a military thermal imager. In the latter case an additional detector array which is spectrally filtered at the focal plane is added to the imager. Real-time autonomous detection and alarm is a military requirement and is desired for commercial use. A detection system model based on a Gaussian vapor concentration distribution has been the basis for detection algorithms. Image processing and analysis methods have been based upon information theory. These techniques extract the cloud image from a clutter scene and perform a limited vapor classification. These methods are suited to hyperspectral imagery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 1995
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2366, Optical Instrumentation for Gas Emissions Monitoring and Atmospheric Measurements, (10 February 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.205550
Show Author Affiliations
Mark L.G. Althouse, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Chein-I Chang, Univ. of Maryland/Baltimore County (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2366:
Optical Instrumentation for Gas Emissions Monitoring and Atmospheric Measurements
Michael G. Yost; Dennis K. Killinger; Joseph Leonelli; William Vaughan; Dennis K. Killinger; William Vaughan; Michael G. Yost, Editor(s)

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