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Proceedings Paper

Remote bioaerosol detection using a broadband 1.5-micron laser
Author(s): Nicholas J. Wood; James B. Gillespie; David A. Ligon
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Paper Abstract

Bioaerosol weapons pose a threat to both troops and civilians. Remote detection of bioaerosols is important for timely deployment of effective countermeasures against these weapons and for triggering other detection systems. In this paper we describe a new approach for remote bioaerosol detection based on an eye-safe spectrally broadband backscatter LIDAR. This technique illuminates a remote cloud using a spectrally broadband laser centred about 1.5 μm. The spectrally backscattered fraction of the broadband illumination beam is detected. Using an inverse Monte Carlo algorithm, the particle size distribution and refractive index of the cloud particles can be determined. In this way threat clouds containing anomalous man-made distributions of particles could be discriminated from normal background clouds. The laser is a custom designed source based on a special non-collinear optical parametric oscillator configuration. The laser produces Q-switched pulses with a maximum spectral bandwidth covering the 1.4 to 1.8 μm region. In practice the spectral region of 1.52 to 1.75 μm is used as this matches an atmospheric transmission window. A comparison of this broadband backscatter LIDAR technique, with the commonly used UV lidar fluorescence technique will be presented. Progress to date and details of a prototype LIDAR system will be described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5617, Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.581923
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas J. Wood, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
James B. Gillespie, Army Research Lab. (United States)
David A. Ligon, Army Research Lab. (United States)


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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