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15 April 2008 Spectral signatures for volatile impurities in TNT and RDX based explosives
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Vapor phase sensing and detection of TNT-based explosives is extremely challenging due in part to the low vapor pressure of TNT. We believe one effective strategy for optically based sensing of TNT-based explosives involves focusing not on the spectral signature for pure TNT, but rather on a more volatile series of compounds that are present in TNT as impurities. To date we have catalogued and reported a number of rotationally resolved infrared transition frequencies for nitrobenzene, toluene, o-nitrotoluene, and m-nitrotoluene in the 14 micron region. Here we describe the use of an in-house spectral calibration program that while designed for calibration of Pb-salt diode laser spectra, is quite general and could be utilized for many spectroscopic detection and/or analysis applications. Finally, a sensing measurement for a volatile organic impurity related to RDX-based explosives such as C4 is presented and discussed.
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Tabetha Osborn, Sindhu Kaimal, William Burns, Alan R. Ford, and Scott W. Reeve "Spectral signatures for volatile impurities in TNT and RDX based explosives", Proc. SPIE 6945, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV, 69451B (15 April 2008);

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