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Proceedings Paper

Microwave spectroscopy of chemical warfare agents: prospects for remote sensing
Author(s): Alan C. Samuels; James O. Jensen; Richard D. Suenram; Angela R. Hight Walker; Dwight L. Woolard
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Paper Abstract

The high level of interest in the sensor development community in millimeter wave technology development demonstrates the potential for several multipurpose applications of millimeter wave sensors. The potential for remote sensing of hazardous chemical materials based on their millimeter wave rotational signatures is yet another possible applications, offering certain distinct advantages over FTIR remote sensing. The high specificity of the rotational spectra to the molecular structures affords the capability of detecting chemical warfare (CW) agents and degradation products in complex mixtures including water vapor and smoke, an important consideration in military applications. Furthermore, the rotational modes are not complicated by electronic or vibrational transitions, reducing the potential for false alarms. We have conducted microwave spectroscopic measurements on two CW nerve agents (sarin and soman) and one blister agent (H-mustard). The assignment of the observed band furnishes us with an extremely accurate tool for predicting the rotational spectrum of these agents at any arbitrary frequency. By factoring in the effects of pressure (Lorentzian broadening and intensity reduction), we present the predicted spectral signatures of the CW agents in the 80 - 300 GHz region. This frequency regime is important for atmospheric monitoring as it exploits the wide bandwidth capability of millimeter wave sensors as well as the atmospheric windows that occur in this region.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3703, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology III, (14 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.352997
Show Author Affiliations
Alan C. Samuels, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
James O. Jensen, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Richard D. Suenram, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Angela R. Hight Walker, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Dwight L. Woolard, Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3703:
Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology III
Roger M. Smith, Editor(s)

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