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1 May 2017 Remote laser drilling and sampling system for the detection of concealed explosives
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The detection of hazardous materials like explosives is a central issue in national security in the field of counterterrorism. One major task includes the development of new methods and sensor systems for the detection. Many existing remote or standoff methods like infrared or raman spectroscopy find their limits, if the hazardous material is concealed in an object. Imaging technologies using x-ray or terahertz radiation usually yield no information about the chemical content itself. However, the exact knowledge of the real threat potential of a suspicious object is crucial for disarming the device. A new approach deals with a laser drilling and sampling system for the use as verification detector for suspicious objects. Central part of the system is a miniaturised, diode pumped Nd:YAG laser oscillator-amplifier. The system allows drilling into most materials like metals, synthetics or textiles with bore hole diameters in the micron scale. During the drilling process, the hazardous material can be sampled for further investigation with suitable detection methods. In the reported work, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is used to monitor the drilling process and to classify the drilled material. Also experiments were carried out to show the system’s ability to not ignite even sensitive explosives like triacetone triperoxide (TATP). The detection of concealed hazardous material is shown for different explosives using liquid chromatography and ion mobility spectrometry.
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D. Wild, L. Pschyklenk, C. Theiß, and G. Holl "Remote laser drilling and sampling system for the detection of concealed explosives", Proc. SPIE 10192, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XIII, 101920J (1 May 2017);


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