The project AMURFOCAL (Active Multispectral Reflection Fingerprinting of Persistent Chemical Agents) has the research topic of stand-off detection and identification of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) with amplified quantum cascade laser technology in the long-wave infrared spectral range. The project was conducted under the Joint Investment Programme (JIP) on CBRN protection funded through the European Defence Agency (EDA).
The AMURFOCAL instrument comprises a spectrally narrow tune-able light source with a broadband infrared detector and chemometric data analysis software. The light source combines an external cavity quantum cascade laser (EC-QCL) with an optical parametric amplifier (OPA) to boost the peak output power of a short laser pulse tune-able over the infrared fingerprint region. The laser beam is focused onto a target at a distance between 10 and 20 m. A 3D data cube is registered by tuning the wavelength of the laser emission while recording the received signal scattered off the target using a multi-element infrared detector. A particular chemical is identified through the extraction of its characteristic spectral fingerprint out of the measured data.
The paper describes the AMURFOCAL instrument, its functional units, and its principles of operation.