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Proceedings Paper

Explosive vapor detection via mid-infrared laser spectroscopy
Author(s): Frank J. Effenberger; Alvaro G. Mercado
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Paper Abstract

Accurate explosives detection would be an effective defense/deterrent against bomb attacks. Chemical vapor sensing has the potential to be both specific and sensitive. The work descried here involves the use of mid-IR laser spectroscopy to detect the presence of nitro-group based explosive vapors. Two different singly-resonant Silver Gallium Selenide OPOs were examined for use as the spectroscopy source: one was pumped with a 1.319 micrometers Nd:YAG laser, and the other was pumped by a 1.57 micrometers KTP/Nd:YAG OPO-laser. Both OPOs can be angle-tuned over wavebands of interest, producing coherent mid-IR idler output power at 5-8 micrometers , as well as near-IR outputs. Current results indicate that output energies of approximately 300 (mu) J in the mid-IR can be generated from 10 mJ of pump energy. The OPO outputs can be used to detect chemical vapors using a sample-reference absorbance experiment. Both OPO outputs are passed through a cell containing the vapor to be measured. The mid-IR output is attenuated by the strong absorption of the vapors, while the near-IR output, being unabsorbed, serves as a reference. The ratio measurement has a shot-noise limited accuracy better than one part per million absorbance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3383, Electro-Optical Technology for Remote Chemical Detection and Identification III, (6 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317640
Show Author Affiliations
Frank J. Effenberger, Discovery Semiconductors, Inc. (United States)
Alvaro G. Mercado, Discovery Semiconductors, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3383:
Electro-Optical Technology for Remote Chemical Detection and Identification III
Mahmoud Fallahi; Ellen A. Howden, Editor(s)

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