Standoff detection of dangerous chemicals like explosives, nerve gases, and harmful aerosols has continuously been an important subject due to the serious concern about terrorist threats to both overseas and homeland lives and facility. Compared with other currently available standoff optical detection techniques, like Raman, photo-thermal, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy,...etc., photoacoustic (PA) sensing has the advantages of background free and very high detection sensitivity, no need of back reflection surfaces, and 1/R instead of 1/R2 signal decay distance dependence. Furthermore, there is still a great room for PA sensitivity improvement by using different PA techniques, including lockin amplifier, employing new microphones, and microphone array techniques. Recently, we have demonstrated standoff PA detection of isopropanol vapor, solid phase TNT and RDX at a standoff distance. To further calibrate the detection sensitivity, we use nerve gas simulants that were generated and calibrated by a commercial vapor generator. For field operations, array of microphones and microphone-reflector pairs can be utilized to achieve noise rejection and signal enhancement. We have experimentally demonstrated signal enhancement and noise reduction using an array of 4 microphone/4 reflector system as well as an array of 16-microphone/1 reflector. In this work we will review and compare different standoff techniques and discuss the advantages of using different photoacoustic techniques. We will also discuss new advancement of using new types of microphone and the performance comparison of using different structure of microphone arrays and combining lock-in amplifier with acoustic arrays. Demonstration of out-door real-time operations with high power mid-IR laser and microphone array will be presented.