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Proceedings Paper

Photoacoustic spectroscopy for remote detection of liquid contamination
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Paper Abstract

The remote detection and identification of liquid chemical contamination is a difficult problem for which no satisfactory solution has yet been found. We have investigated a new technique, pulsed indirect photoacoustic spectroscopy (PIPAS), and made an assessment of its potential for operation at stand-off ranges of order 10m. The method involves optical excitation of the liquid surface with a pulsed laser operating in the 9-11μm region. Pulse lengths are of order 3μs, with energy ~300μJ and repetition rates ~200Hz. Rapid heating of the liquid by the laser pulse produces acoustic emission at the surface, and this is detected by a sensitive directional microphone to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and reduce background clutter. The acoustic pulse strength is related to the liquid's absorption coefficient at the laser wavelength; tuning allows spectroscopic investigation and a means of chemical identification. Maximum coverage rates have been examined, and further experiments have examined the specificity of the technique, allowing a preliminary assessment of false-alarm and missed-signal rates. The practical aspects of applying the technique in a field environment have been assessed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.577513
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Harris, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Brian Perrett, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
David M. Benton, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
David V. Willetts, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5617:
Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence
John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas, Editor(s)

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