Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), and suicide bombers are a
major threat to many countries and their citizenry. The ability to detect trace levels of these threats with a miniature,
hand-held, reagentless, standoff sensor represents a major improvement in the state of the art of CBE surface sensors.
Photon Systems, Inc., in collaboration with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently demonstrated a new technology hand-held
sensor for reagentless, close-range, standoff detection and identification of trace levels CBE materials on surfaces.
This targeted ultraviolet CBE (TUCBE) sensor is the result of an Army Phase I STTR program. The resulting 5lb, 5W,
flashlight-sized sensor can discriminate CBE from background materials using a combination of deep UV excited
resonance Raman (RR) and laser induced native fluorescence (LINF) emissions resulting from excitation by a new
technology deep UV laser. Detection and identification is accomplished in less than 1ms. Standoff excitation of
suspicious packages, vehicles, persons, and other objects that may contain hazardous materials is accomplished using
wavelengths below 250nm where Raman and native fluorescence emissions occupy distinctly different wavelength
regions. This enables simultaneous detection of RR and LINF emissions with no interferences. The sensor employs
fused RR/LINF chemometric methods to extract the identity of targeted materials from background clutter.
Photon Systems has demonstrated detection and identification of 100ng/cm2 of explosives materials at a distance of 1
meter using a sensor with 3.8 cm optical aperture. Expansion of the optical aperture to 38 cm in a lantern-sized sensor
will enable similar detection and identification of CBE materials at standoff distances of 10 meters. As a result of
excitation and detection in the deep UV and the use of a gated detection system, the sensor is solar blind and can operate
in full daylight conditions.