The developments of optical methods to characterize soils and various surface contaminants require complete and reliable databases of spectral signatures of various objects, including chemical and representative background surfaces. Ideally, the databases should be acquired in the field to properly consider the chemical mixing and heterogeneity of the surfaces. Spectral characterization instruments are common in the visible and the shortwave infrared but there are few solutions in the midwave and thermal infrared regions.
ABB recently developed a broad band reflectometer based on a small FTIR spectrometer. It is capable of measuring diffuse spectral reflectance from various surfaces in the infrared from 0.7 to 13.5 microns. This sensor has been developed to be operated in the field by one person. It is lightweight (about 12 kg); it is battery powered and ruggedized for operation in harsh environments. Its operation does not require sophisticated training; it has been designed to be operated by a non-specialist. The sensor can be used to generate spectral libraries or to perform material identification if a spectral library already exists.
Examples of measurements in the field will be presented.