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Proceedings Paper

Infrared hyperspectral imaging for chemical vapour detection
Author(s): K. Ruxton; G. Robertson; W. Miller; G.P. A. Malcolm; G. T. Maker; C. R. Howle
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Paper Abstract

Active hyperspectral imaging is a valuable tool in a wide range of applications. One such area is the detection and identification of chemicals, especially toxic chemical warfare agents, through analysis of the resulting absorption spectrum. This work presents a selection of results from a prototype midwave infrared (MWIR) hyperspectral imaging instrument that has successfully been used for compound detection at a range of standoff distances. Active hyperspectral imaging utilises a broadly tunable laser source to illuminate the scene with light at a range of wavelengths. While there are a number of illumination methods, the chosen configuration illuminates the scene by raster scanning the laser beam using a pair of galvanometric mirrors. The resulting backscattered light from the scene is collected by the same mirrors and focussed onto a suitable single-point detector, where the image is constructed pixel by pixel. The imaging instrument that was developed in this work is based around an IR optical parametric oscillator (OPO) source with broad tunability, operating in the 2.6 to 3.7 μm (MWIR) and 1.5 to 1.8 μm (shortwave IR, SWIR) spectral regions. The MWIR beam was primarily used as it addressed the fundamental absorption features of the target compounds compared to the overtone and combination bands in the SWIR region, which can be less intense by more than an order of magnitude. We show that a prototype NCI instrument was able to locate hydrocarbon materials at distances up to 15 metres.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 October 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8546, Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting, and Defence VIII, 85460K (30 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.975057
Show Author Affiliations
K. Ruxton, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
G. Robertson, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
W. Miller, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
G.P. A. Malcolm, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
G. T. Maker, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
C. R. Howle, Defence Science and Technology Lab. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8546:
Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting, and Defence VIII
Colin Lewis; Douglas Burgess, Editor(s)

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