A small light weight man portable imaging spectrometer has many applications; gas leak detection, flare analysis, threat warning, chemical agent detection, just to name a few. With support from the US Air Force and Navy, Pacific Advanced Technology has developed a small man portable hyperspectral imaging sensor with an embedded DSP processor for real time processing that is capable of remotely imaging various targets such as gas plums, flames and camouflaged targets. Based upon their spectral signature the species and concentration of gases can be determined. This system has been field tested at numerous places including White Mountain, CA, Edwards AFB, and Vandenberg AFB. Recently evaluation of the system for gas detection has been performed. This paper presents these results.
The system uses a conventional infrared camera fitted with a diffractive optic that images as well as disperses the incident radiation to form spectral images that are collected in band sequential mode. Because the diffractive optic performs both imaging and spectral filtering, the lens system consists of only a single element that is small, light weight and robust, thus allowing man portability. The number of spectral bands are programmable such that only those bands of interest need to be collected. The system is entirely passive, therefore, easily used in a covert operation.
Currently Pacific Advanced Technology is working on the next generation of this camera system that will have both an embedded processor as well as an embedded digital signal processor in a small hand held camera configuration. This will allow the implementation of signal and image processing algorithms for gas detection and identification in real time.
This paper presents field test data on gas detection and identification as well as discuss the signal and image processing used to enhance the gas visibility. Flow rates as low as 0.01 cubic feet per minute have been imaged with this system.