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Proceedings Paper

Portable open-path chemical sensor using a quantum cascade laser
Author(s): Paul Corrigan; Maung Lwin; Reuven Huntley; Amandeep Chhabra; Fred Moshary; Barry Gross; Samir Ahmed
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Paper Abstract

Remote sensing of enemy installations or their movements by trace gas detection is a critical but challenging military objective. Open path measurements over ranges of a few meters to many kilometers with sensitivity in the parts per million or billion regime are crucial in anticipating the presence of a threat. Previous approaches to detect ground level chemical plumes, explosive constituents, or combustion have relied on low-resolution, short range Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR), or low-sensitivity near-infrared differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). As mid-infrared quantum cascade laser (QCL) sources have improved in cost and performance, systems based on QCL's that can be tailored to monitor multiple chemical species in real time are becoming a viable alternative. We present the design of a portable, high-resolution, multi-kilometer open path trace gas sensor based on QCL technology. Using a tunable (1045-1047cm-1) QCL, a modeled atmosphere and link-budget analysis with commercial component specifications, we show that with this approach, accuracy in parts per billion ozone or ammonia can be obtained in seconds at path lengths up to 10 km. We have assembled an open-path QCL sensor based on this theoretical approach at City College of New York, and we present preliminary results demonstrating the potential of QCLs in open-path sensing applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7312, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VI, 73120P (30 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820687
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Corrigan, City College, CUNY (United States)
Maung Lwin, City College, CUNY (United States)
Reuven Huntley, City College, CUNY (United States)
Amandeep Chhabra, City College, CUNY (United States)
Fred Moshary, City College, CUNY (United States)
Barry Gross, City College, CUNY (United States)
Samir Ahmed, City College, CUNY (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7312:
Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VI
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert A. Lieberman; Günter Gauglitz, Editor(s)

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