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17 May 2019 Infrared backscatter imaging spectroscopy for standoff detection of trace explosives
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The results from infrared backscatter imaging spectroscopy on a mobile platform for stand-off detection of trace amounts of explosive materials on relevant substrates are presented. This technique utilizes an array of tunable infrared quantum cascade lasers to illuminate targets. The spectral range of the QCL system spans from 6 - 11 μm, which enables excitation of a wide variety of absorption bands present in analytes of interest. Targets are prepared by sieving particles through a 20 μm mesh onto substrates to simulate relevant qualities (particle size, fill factor, and mass loading) expected of real world targets. The backscatter signal from targets is collected with an IR focal plane array. This information is stored in a hyperspectral image cube to allow for post processing in a detection algorithm. We demonstrate the selectivity and sensitivity of the discussed technique down to the nanogram level for RDX and PETN on glass. Spectra are generated by extracting the signal from small regions of interest to simulate targets with miniscule coverage areas. Preliminary comparison of backscatter data with simulated data from a model that incorporates particle size, mass loading, and substrate response show good agreement. Confusant agents, such as sand, are introduced to the targets loaded with analyte to illustrate the selectivity of this technique. The results of these studies are presented, along with future improvements to the technique.
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Christopher J. Breshike, Christopher A. Kendziora, Yohan Yoon, Robert Furstenberg, Viet Nguyen, and R. Andrew McGill "Infrared backscatter imaging spectroscopy for standoff detection of trace explosives", Proc. SPIE 11010, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XX, 1101004 (17 May 2019);

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