Passive Fourier-transform infrared (Passive-FTIR) spectroscopy allows rapidly identification of the air pollution. However, for the localization of a leak and a complete assessment of the situation in the case of the release of a hazardous chemical gas or biological cloud, information about the position and the spatial distribution of a cloud is very important. In this work, a scanning imaging passive FTIR system, which composed of an interferometer, a data acquisition and processing software, a scanning system, a video system, and a laptop has been developed. The concentration retrieval algorithm for the passive FTIR remote measurement of gas cloud is presented, which involves the infrared radiative transfer model, radiometric calibration and absorption coefficient calculation. The concentration of the object gas is retrieved by using the
nonlinear least squares method. And no background spectra are required. The remote sensing experiment of SF6 was carried out. The measuring result shows that, the column densities of all directions in which a target compound has been identified may be retrieved by a nonlinear least squares fitting algorithm and algorithm of radiation transfer, a false color image is displayed. The results are visualized by a video image, overlaid by false color concentration distribution image. The system has a high selectivity, and it allows visualization and quantification of pollutant clouds. The system allows mobile, real-time and fast measurements of chemical gas and biological clouds.