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Enabling standoff detection of hazardous materials using a fiber optic coupled quantum cascade infrared laser system
Author(s): Kenneth J. Ewing; Kevin J. Major; Jasbinder S. Sanghera; Rafael R. Gattass; L. Brandon Shaw; Lynda Busse; David Arnone; Enrique Lopez; Michael Pushkarsky; Justin Kane; Rhea J. Clewes; Linda Lee; Chris R. Howle
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Paper Abstract

The global defense community requires new approaches for standoff detection of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats. Such standoff detection methods must be capable of discriminating the target hazardous materials from the environmental background. Therefore these sensors must exhibit high selectivity. High selectivity detection of CBRNE threats can be accomplished using infrared (IR) spectroscopy, which produces a unique spectral “fingerprint” of the target chemical, enabling discrimination of the target chemical from other chemicals in the background. Standoff detection using IR spectroscopy however requires that enough of the incident source light may be collected at the detector; therefore a high-power source is needed. Commercially available quantum cascade laser (QCL) sources are capable of projecting high power, coherent laser light at targets down range from the source. In order to collect complete IR spectra throughout the entire fingerprint region, the output of multiple QCL modules are combined into a single exit aperture. This is typically achieved using mirrors and other optics which are susceptible to vibrational and temperature misalignments in field systems. In order to provide a more ruggedized solution to combining the beam output of multiple QCL modules, we developed a unique chalcogenide optical fiber beam combiner which combines the output of four commercial QCL modules. This allows for scanning across a spectral range from 6.01 – 11.20 μm encompassing parts of both the IR functional groups and fingerprint regions. We demonstrate the ability of this QCL system to generate high quality IR spectra of hazardous materials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2018
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10629, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIX, 106290A (23 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2304352
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth J. Ewing, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Kevin J. Major, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Jasbinder S. Sanghera, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Rafael R. Gattass, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
L. Brandon Shaw, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Lynda Busse, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
David Arnone, DRS Daylight Solutions (United States)
Enrique Lopez, DRS Daylight Solutions (United States)
Michael Pushkarsky, DRS Daylight Solutions (United States)
Justin Kane, DRS Daylight Solutions (United States)
Rhea J. Clewes, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)
Linda Lee, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)
Chris R. Howle, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10629:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIX
Jason A. Guicheteau; Augustus Way Fountain; Chris R. Howle, Editor(s)

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