The development of a wide area, bioaerosol early warning capability employing existing uncooled thermal imaging systems used for persistent perimeter surveillance is discussed. The capability exploits thermal imagers with other available data streams including meteorological data and employs a recursive Bayesian classifier to detect, track, and classify observed thermal objects with attributes consistent with a bioaerosol plume. Target detection is achieved based on similarity to a phenomenological model which predicts the scene-dependent thermal signature of bioaerosol plumes. Change detection in thermal sensor data is combined with local meteorological data to locate targets with the appropriate thermal characteristics. Target motion is tracked utilizing a Kalman filter and nearly constant velocity motion model for cloud state estimation. Track management is performed using a logic-based upkeep system, and data association is accomplished using a combinatorial optimization technique. Bioaerosol threat classification is determined using a recursive Bayesian classifier to quantify the threat probability of each tracked object. The classifier can accept additional inputs from visible imagers, acoustic sensors, and point biological sensors to improve classification confidence. This capability was successfully demonstrated for bioaerosol simulant releases during field testing at Dugway Proving Grounds. Standoff detection at a range of 700m was achieved for as little as 500g of anthrax simulant. Developmental test results will be reviewed for a range of simulant releases, and future development and transition plans for the bioaerosol early warning platform will be discussed.
An electronic detector of surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) is reported. SPPs optically excited on a metal surface using a prism coupler are detected by using a close-coupled metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitor. Semitransparent metal and graphene gates function similarly. We report the dependence of the photoresponse on substrate carrier type, carrier concentration, and back-contact biasing.
Patterned highly absorbing gold black film has been selectively deposited on the active surfaces of a vanadium-oxide-based infrared bolometer array. Patterning by metal lift-off relies on protection of the fragile gold black with an evaporated oxide, which preserves gold black’s near unity absorption. This patterned gold black also survives the dry-etch removal of the sacrificial polyimide used to fabricate the air-bridge bolometers. Infrared responsivity is substantially improved by the gold black coating without significantly increasing noise. The increase in the time constant caused by the additional mass of gold black is a modest 14%.
Optical constants for evaporated bismuth (Bi) films were measured by ellipsometry and compared with those published for single crystal and melt-cast polycrystalline Bi in the wavelength range of 1 to 40 μm. The bulk plasma frequency ωp and high-frequency limit to the permittivity ε∞ were determined from the long-wave portion of the permittivity spectrum, taking previously published values for the relaxation time τ and effective mass m . This part of the complex permittivity spectrum was confirmed by comparing calculated and measured reflectivity spectra in the far-infrared. Properties of surface polaritons (SPs) in the long-wave infrared were calculated to evaluate the potential of Bi for applications in infrared plasmonics. Measured excitation resonances for SPs on Bi lamellar gratings agree well with calculated resonance spectra based on grating geometry and complex permittivity.
We have invented a novel photodetector by mating a surface plasmon resonance coupler with a graphene field effect transistor. The device enables wavelength selectivity for spectral sensing applications. Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are generated in a 50 nm thick Ag film on the surface of a prism in the Kretschmann configuration positioned 500 nm from a graphene FET. Incident photons of a given wavelength excite SPPs at a specific incidence angle. These SPP fields excite a transient current whose amplitude follows the angular resonance spectrum of the SPP absorption feature. Though demonstrated first at visible wavelengths, the approach can be extended far into the infrared. We also demonstrate that the resonant current is strongly modulated by gate bias applied to the FET, providing a clear path towards large-scale spectral imagers with locally addressable pixels.