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Proceedings Paper

LIBS: a new versatile field-deployable real-time detector system with potential for landmine detection
Author(s): Russell S. Harmon; Frank C. De Lucia; Raymond J. Winkel; Aaron LaPointe; Scott L. Grossman; Kevin L. McNesby; Andrzej W. Miziolek
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Paper Abstract

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is an atomic emission spectroscopic technique that utilizes a pulsed laser to create a microplasma on the target together with an array spectrometer to capture the transient light for elemental identification and quantification. LIBS has certain important characteristics that make it a very attractive sensor technology for military uses. Such attributes include that facts that LIBS (1) is relatively simple and straightforward, (2) requires no sample preparation, (3) generates a real-time response, and (4) only engages a very small sample (pg-ng) of matter in each laser shot and microplasma event, (5) has inherent high sensitivity, and (6) responds to all forms of unknowns, and, therefore, is particularly suited for the sensing of dangerous materials. Additionally, a LIBS sensor system can be inexpensive, configured to be man-portable, and designed for both in-situ point sensing and remote stand-off detection with distances of up to 20-25 meters. Broadband LIBS results covering the spectral region from 200-970 nm acquired at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) under laboratory conditions for a variety of landmine casings and explosive materials. This data will illustrate the potential that LIBS has to be developed into a hand-deployable device that could be utilized as a confirmatory sensor in landmine detection. The concept envisioned is a backpack-size system in which an eyesafe micro-laser is contained in the handle of a deminer's probe and light is delivered and collected through an optical fiber in the tapered tip of the probe. In such a configuration, analyses can be made readily by touching the buried object that one is interested in identifying.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2003
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5089, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII, (11 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.488164
Show Author Affiliations
Russell S. Harmon, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Frank C. De Lucia, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Raymond J. Winkel, U.S. Military Academy (United States)
Aaron LaPointe, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Scott L. Grossman, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Kevin L. McNesby, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Andrzej W. Miziolek, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5089:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII
Russell S. Harmon; John H. Holloway; J. T. Broach, Editor(s)

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