Advanced autonomous detection of both chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals has long been of major military concern and is becoming an increasingly realistic need. Foster-Miller has successfully designed and demonstrated a high spectral throughput monolithic wedge spectrometer capable of providing early, stand-off detection of chemical threats. Recent breakthrough innovations in IR source technologies, high D* multispectral array detectors, and IR waveguide materials has allowed for the development of a robust, miniature, monolithic infrared spectrometer. Foster-Miller recently demonstrated a high resolution spectrometer operating in the 8 to 12 micron region for chemical agent detection. Results will be presented demonstrating the feasibility of adapting the wedge spectrometer to operate as an upward looking ground sensor for stand-off chemical detection. Our miniaturized spectrometer forms the basis for deploying low cost, lightweight sensors which may be used for reconnaissance missions or delivered to remote locations for unattended operation. The ability of perform passive stand-off infrared chemical agent and chemical emissions detection with a low cost, compact device that can operate autonomously in remote environments has broad applications in both the military and commercial marketplace.
Foster-Miller has leveraged its innovations in IR fiber- optic probes and the recent development of a miniature spectrometer to build a novel IR sensor system for process applications. The developed sensor systems is a low-cost alternative to process FTIR and filter based systems. A monolithic wedge-grating optic provides the spectral dispersion with low cost thermopile point or array detectors picking off the diffracted wavelengths from the optic. The integrated optic provides spectral discrimination between 3- 12 micrometers with resolution at 8 cm-1 or better and high overall optical throughput. The device has a fixed cylindrical grating uniquely bonded to the edge of a ZnSe conditioning 'wedge'. The conditioning optic overcomes limitations of concave gratings as it accepts high angle light at the narrow end of the wedge and progressively conditions it to be near normal to the grating. On return, the diffracted wavelengths are concentrated on the discrete or array detector elements by the wedge, providing throughput comparable to that of an FTIR. The miniature spectrometer coupled to flow through liquid cells or multipass gas cells provides significant cost advantage over conventional sampling methodologies. Currently, we are investigating process applications for the petroleum and dairy markets. The sensor system eliminates the cost, complexity, reliability and bandwidth/resolution problems associated with either Fabry Perot or Michelson Interferometer based approaches for low-cost process applications.
Advanced autonomous detection of chemical warfare agents and other organic materials has long been a major military concern. While significant advances have recently been accomplished in remote spectral sensing using rugged FTIRs with point detectors, efforts towards spatial chemical discrimination have been lacking. Foster-Miller, Inc. has developed a radically different mid-IR and long wave IR spectrometer for standoff detection of chemical warfare agents and other molecular species.This no moving parts device will eliminate the cost, complexity, reliability and bandwidth/resolution problems associated with either Fabry Perot or Michelson Interferometer based approaches currently under consideration. Given the small size and performance insensitivity to on-board vibration, high EMI, thermal variations, the proposed optic would easily adapt cryocooling and field deployable requirements for low radiance detection.
Infrared transmitting heavy metal fluoride optical fiber has been used
to separate an FTIR analyzer from a remote measurement point. Several
types of remote sensors have been developed for species concentration
measurements. Remote transmission cells connected to fiber cables have
been used for the measurement of spectra of liquids and gases.
Evanescent wave probes have been developed to obtain spectra in highly
absorbing and highly scattering media. Remote spectra taken with an FTIR
fiber-optic analyzer in the 8000 - 2000 cm1 spectral region are
presented. A calculation of detectability limits for these species
based on the measured data will be presented. A discussion of sensor
multiplexing applied to remote fiber optic FTIR spectroscopy will be