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Proceedings Paper

The limit of detection for explosives in spectroscopic differential reflectometry
Author(s): Thierry Dubroca; Karthik Vishwanathan; Rolf E. Hummel
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Paper Abstract

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks, such as the 2008 Mumbai hotel explosion or the December 25th 2009 "underwear bomber", our group has developed a technique (US patent #7368292) to apply differential reflection spectroscopy to detect traces of explosives. Briefly, light (200-500 nm) is shone on a surface such as a piece of luggage at an airport. Upon reflection, the light is collected with a spectrometer combined with a CCD camera. A computer processes the data and produces in turn a differential reflection spectrum involving two adjacent areas of the surface. This differential technique is highly sensitive and provides spectroscopic data of explosives. As an example, 2,4,6, trinitrotoluene (TNT) displays strong and distinct features in differential reflectograms near 420 nm. Similar, but distinctly different features are observed for other explosives. One of the most important criteria for explosive detection techniques is the limit of detection. This limit is defined as the amount of explosive material necessary to produce a signal to noise ratio of three. We present here, a method to evaluate the limit of detection of our technique. Finally, we present our sample preparation method and experimental set-up specifically developed to measure the limit of detection for our technology. This results in a limit ranging from 100 nano-grams to 50 micro-grams depending on the method and the set-up parameters used, such as the detector-sample distance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8018, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII, 80181L (3 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.884154
Show Author Affiliations
Thierry Dubroca, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Karthik Vishwanathan, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Rolf E. Hummel, Univ. of Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8018:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII
Augustus W. Fountain; Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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