10 May 2018 Detection and identification of chemical warfare agents using mid wave infrared active hyperspectral imaging
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The ability to detect and ultimately successfully identify threat agents, including chemical warfare agents (CWAs), remains a priority in both military and domestic environments globally. A number of detection technologies exist, however, active infrared (IR) hyperspectral imaging offers a number of operational advantages, making it a desirable deployment option. Most importantly, active hyperspectral imaging offers a stand-off detection approach, removing the operator and equipment from close proximity to the potentially lethal threat agents.

M Squared’s Negative Contract Imager (NCI) is a turn-key chemical sensor, built on a flexible technology platform, making it suitable for a range of chemical sensing applications. A key benefit of the NCI platform is that it can be operated remotely, further removing the operator from the potentially hazardous environment. The NCI used for the here presented results operates in the mid wave IR (nominally 2.7 μm to 3.7 μm), allowing the fundamental absorption bands of agents to be addressed and analyzed. The presented work demonstrates how the NCI was able to successfully detect and identify a number of CWAs deposited on a range of surfaces. A key challenge to positive identification of a threat is analyzing the recorded absorption signature from the sensor and comparing it to reference signatures. Depending on the nature of the deposition of the agent the resulting absorption features can be distorted compared to the reference signature. The discussed results demonstrate how spectral fitting algorithms can be used to assist in agent identification.
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Keith Ruxton, Keith Ruxton, C. Robin Head, C. Robin Head, Rhea J. Clewes, Rhea J. Clewes, Sarah Marchant, Sarah Marchant, Nils Hempler, Nils Hempler, Graeme P. A. Malcolm, Graeme P. A. Malcolm, Gareth T. Maker, Gareth T. Maker, } "Detection and identification of chemical warfare agents using mid wave infrared active hyperspectral imaging", Proc. SPIE 10629, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIX, 1062904 (10 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2302519; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2302519

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