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Proceedings Paper

Experimental demonstration of remote optical detection of trace explosives
Author(s): C. M. Wynn; S. Palmacci; R. R. Kunz; J. J. Zayhowski; B. Edwards; M. Rothschild
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Paper Abstract

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a concept that could enable remote (10s of meters) detection of trace explosives' residues via a field-portable laser system. The technique relies upon laser-induced photodissociation of nitro-bearing explosives into vibrationally excited nitric oxide (NO) fragments. Subsequent optical probing of the first vibrationally excited state at 236 nm yields narrowband fluorescence at the shorter wavelength of 226 nm. With proper optical filtering, these photons provide a highly sensitive explosives signature that is not susceptible to interference from traditional optical clutter sources (e.g., red-shifted fluorescence). Quantitative measurements of trace residues of TNT have been performed demonstrating this technique using a breadboard system, which relies upon a pulsed optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based laser. Based on these results, performance projections for a fieldable system are made.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 April 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6954, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing IX, 695407 (17 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.782371
Show Author Affiliations
C. M. Wynn, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
S. Palmacci, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. R. Kunz, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. J. Zayhowski, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
B. Edwards, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
M. Rothschild, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6954:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing IX
Augustus Way Fountain III; Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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