5 May 2012 High-resolution optical signatures of fresh and aged explosives in the 420nm to 620nm illumination range
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Optical signatures of fresh and aged explosives are measured and compared to determine whether there exist differences in the signatures that can be exploited for detection. The explosives examined are RDX, TNT, and HMX, which have been heated for two weeks at 75 degrees centigrade or irradiated for two weeks with a 15-Watt ultraviolet lamp (254nm). The optical signatures are obtained by illuminating the samples with a sequence of laser wavelengths between 420nm and 620nm in 10 nm steps and measuring the spectra of light scattered from the sample at each laser wavelength. The measurements are performed on the Naval Research Laboratory's SWOrRD instrument. SWOrRD is capable of illuminating a sample with laser wavelength between 210nm and 2000nm, in steps of 0.1nm, and measuring the spectrum of light scattered from the sample at each wavelength. SWOrRD's broad tuning range, high average power (1- 300mW), narrow line width (< 4cm-1), and rapid wavelength tunability enable these measurements. Results, based on more than 80 measurements - each at 21 sequential laser wavelengths, indicate that the variation in spectral line amplitude observed when altering laser illumination wavelength differs between fresh and aged explosives. Thus, an instrument for rapid and reagent-less differentiation between aged and fresh explosives, based on illumination with a few appropriately chosen laser wavelengths appears feasible.
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Robert Lunsford, Jacob Grun, Jared Gump, "High-resolution optical signatures of fresh and aged explosives in the 420nm to 620nm illumination range", Proc. SPIE 8358, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIII, 83580L (5 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918621; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.918621


Ultraviolet radiation

Raman spectroscopy

Laser scattering


Light scattering

Visible radiation

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