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Proceedings Paper

Laser-based detection of chemical contraband
Author(s): Robert G. Clemmer; James F. Kelly; Steven W. Martin; Gary M. Mong; Steven W. Sharpe
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Paper Abstract

The goal of our work is tow fold; 1) develop a portable and rapid laser based air sampler for detection of specific chemical contraband and 2) compile a spectral data base in both the near- and mid-IR of sufficiently high quality to be useful for gas phase spectroscopic identification of chemical contraband. During the synthesis or 'cooking' of many illicit chemical substances, relatively high concentrations of volatile solvents, chemical precursors and byproducts are unavoidably released to the atmosphere. In some instances, the final product may have sufficient vapor pressure to be detectable in the surrounding air. The detection of a single high-value effluent or the simultaneous detection of two or more low-value effluents can be used as reliable indicators of a nearby clandestine cooking operation. The designation of high- versus low-value effluent reflects both the commercial availability and legitimate usage of a specific chemical. This paper will describe PNNL's progress and efforts towards the development of a portable laser based air sampling system for the detection of clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine. Although our current efforts ar focused on methamphetamine, we see no fundamental limitations on detection of other forms of chemical contraband manufacturing. This also includes the synthesis of certain classes of chemical weapons that have recently been deployed by terrorist groups.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2937, Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266786
Show Author Affiliations
Robert G. Clemmer, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
James F. Kelly, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Steven W. Martin, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Gary M. Mong, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Steven W. Sharpe, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2937:
Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection
Pierre Pilon; Steve Burmeister, Editor(s)

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