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Proceedings Paper

Portable standoff Raman system for fast detection of homemade explosives through glass, plastic, and water
Author(s): Anupam K. Misra; Shiv K. Sharma; Tayro E. Acosta; John N. Porter; Paul G. Lucey; David E. Bates
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Paper Abstract

The University of Hawaii has been developing portable remote Raman systems capable of detecting chemicals in daylight from a safe standoff distance. We present data on standoff detection of chemicals used in the synthesis of homemade explosives (HME) using a portable standoff Raman system utilizing an 8-inch telescope. Data show that good-quality Raman spectra of various hazardous chemicals such as ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate, potassium perchlorate, sulfur, nitrobenzene, benzene, acetone, various organic and inorganic chemicals etc. could be easily obtained from remote distances, tested up to 120 meters, with a single-pulse laser excitation and with detection time less than 1 μs. The system uses a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG pulsed laser source (532 nm, 100 mJ/pulse, 15 Hz, pulse width 10 ns) capable of firing a single or double pulse. The double-pulse configuration also allows the system to perform standoff LIBS (Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) at 50 m range. In the standoff Raman detection, the doublepulse sequence simply doubles the signal to noise ratio. Significant improvement in the quality of Raman spectra is observed when the standoff detection is made with 1s integration time. The system uses a 50-micron slit and has spectral resolution of 8 cm-1. The HME chemicals could be easily detected through clear and brown glass bottles, PP and HDPE plastic bottles, and also through fluorescent plastic water bottles. Standoff Raman detection of HME chemical from a 10 m distance through non-visible concealed bottles in plastic bubble wrap packaging is demonstrated with 1 s integration time. Possible applications of the standoff Raman system for homeland security and environmental monitoring are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8358, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII, 835811 (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919647
Show Author Affiliations
Anupam K. Misra, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Shiv K. Sharma, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Tayro E. Acosta, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
John N. Porter, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Paul G. Lucey, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
David E. Bates, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8358:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII
Augustus Way Fountain, Editor(s)

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