29 May 2013 Explosive vapor detection payload for small robots
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Abstract
Detection of explosive hazards is a critical component of enabling and improving operational mobility and protection of US Forces. The Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS) developed by the US Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is addressing this challenge for dismounted soldiers. Under the AMDS program, ARA has developed a vapor sampling system that enhances the detection of explosive residues using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors. The Explosives Hazard Trace Detection (EHTD) payload is designed for plug-and-play installation and operation on small robotic platforms, addressing critical Army needs for more safely detecting concealed or exposed explosives in areas such as culverts, walls and vehicles. In this paper, we describe the development, robotic integration and performance of the explosive vapor sampling system, which consists of a sampling “head,” a vapor transport tube and an extendable “boom.” The sampling head and transport tube are integrated with the boom, allowing samples to be collected from targeted surfaces up to 7-ft away from the robotic platform. During sample collection, an IR lamp in the sampling head is used to heat a suspected object/surface and the vapors are drawn through the heated vapor transport tube to an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for detection. The EHTD payload is capable of quickly (less than 30 seconds) detecting explosives such as TNT, PETN, and RDX at nanogram levels on common surfaces (brick, concrete, wood, glass, etc.).
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Phil J. Stimac, Phil J. Stimac, Michael Pettit, Michael Pettit, John P. Wetzel, John P. Wetzel, John W. Haas, John W. Haas, } "Explosive vapor detection payload for small robots", Proc. SPIE 8710, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIV, 871011 (29 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016098; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2016098
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