7 June 2013 Infrared photothermal imaging of trace explosives on relevant substrates
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We are developing a technique for the stand-off detection of trace explosives on relevant substrate surfaces using photo-thermal infrared (IR) imaging spectroscopy (PT-IRIS). This approach leverages one or more compact IR quantum cascade lasers, tuned to strong absorption bands in the analytes and directed to illuminate an area on a surface of interest. An IR focal plane array is used to image the surface and detect small increases in thermal emission upon laser illumination. The PT-IRIS signal is processed as a hyperspectral image cube comprised of spatial, spectral and temporal dimensions as vectors within a detection algorithm. The ability to detect trace analytes on relevant substrates is critical for stand-off applications, but is complicated by the optical and thermal analyte/substrate interactions. This manuscript describes recent PT-IRIS experimental results and analysis for traces of RDX, TNT, ammonium nitrate (AN) and sucrose on relevant substrates (steel, polyethylene, glass and painted steel panels). We demonstrate that these analytes can be detected on these substrates at relevant surface mass loadings (10 μg/cm2 to 100 μg/cm2) even at the single pixel level.
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Christopher A. Kendziora, Christopher A. Kendziora, Robert Furstenberg, Robert Furstenberg, Michael Papantonakis, Michael Papantonakis, Viet Nguyen, Viet Nguyen, James Borchert, James Borchert, Jeff Byers, Jeff Byers, R. Andrew McGill, R. Andrew McGill, "Infrared photothermal imaging of trace explosives on relevant substrates", Proc. SPIE 8709, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVIII, 87090O (7 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015970; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2015970

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