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Proceedings Paper

Filter-based chemical sensors for hazardous materials
Author(s): Kevin J. Major; Kenneth J. Ewing; Menelaos K. Poutous; Jasbinder S. Sanghera; Ishwar D. Aggarwal
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Paper Abstract

The development of new techniques for the detection of homemade explosive devices is an area of intense research for the defense community. Such sensors must exhibit high selectivity to detect explosives and/or explosives related materials in a complex environment. Spectroscopic techniques such as FTIR are capable of discriminating between the volatile components of explosives; however, there is a need for less expensive systems for wide-range use in the field. To tackle this challenge we are investigating the use of multiple, overlapping, broad-band infrared (IR) filters to enable discrimination of volatile chemicals associated with an explosive device from potential background interferants with similar chemical signatures. We present an optical approach for the detection of fuel oil (the volatile component in ammonium nitrate-fuel oil explosives) that relies on IR absorption spectroscopy in a laboratory environment. Our proposed system utilizes a three filter set to separate the IR signals from fuel oil and various background interferants in the sample headspace. Filter responses for the chemical spectra are calculated using a Gaussian filter set. We demonstrate that using a specifically chosen filter set enables discrimination of pure fuel oil, hexanes, and acetone, as well as various mixtures of these components. We examine the effects of varying carrier gasses and humidity on the collected spectra and corresponding filter response. We study the filter response on these mixtures over time as well as present a variety of methods for observing the filter response functions to determine the response of this approach to detecting fuel oil in various environments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 May 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9072, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIX, 907212 (29 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2050437
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin J. Major, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Kenneth J. Ewing, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Menelaos K. Poutous, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Jasbinder S. Sanghera, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Ishwar D. Aggarwal, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9072:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIX
Steven S. Bishop; Jason C. Isaacs, Editor(s)

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