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25 May 2016 Imaging standoff trace detection of explosives using IR-laser based backscattering
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We perform active hyperspectral imaging using tunable mid-infrared (MIR) quantum cascade lasers for contactless identification of solid and liquid contaminations on surfaces. By collecting the backscattered laser radiation with a camera, a hyperspectral data cube, containing the spatially resolved spectral information of the scene is obtained. Data is analyzed using appropriate algorithms to find the target substances even on substrates with a priori unknown spectra. Eye-save standoff detection of residues of explosives and precursors over extended distances is demonstrated and the main purpose of our system. Using a MIR EC-QCL with a tuning range from 7.5 μm to 10 μm, detection of a large variety of explosives, e.g. TNT, PETN and RDX and precursor materials such as Ammonium Nitrate could be demonstrated. In a real world scenario stand-off detection over distances of up to 20 m could be successfully performed. This includes measurements in a post blast scenario demonstrating the potential of the technique for forensic investigations.
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F. Fuchs, S. Hugger, J. Jarvis, Q. K. Yang, R. Ostendorf, Ch. Schilling, W. Bronner, R. Driad, R. Aidam, and J. Wagner "Imaging standoff trace detection of explosives using IR-laser based backscattering", Proc. SPIE 9836, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications VIII, 98362I (25 May 2016);

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