The remote detection and identification of liquid chemical contamination is a difficult problem for which no satisfactory solution has yet been found. We have investigated a new technique, pulsed indirect photoacoustic spectroscopy (PIPAS), and made an assessment of its potential for operation at stand-off ranges of order 10m. The method involves optical excitation of the liquid surface with a pulsed laser operating in the 9-11μm region. Pulse lengths are of order 3μs, with energy ∼300μJ and repetition rates ∼200Hz. Rapid heating of the liquid by the laser pulse produces acoustic emission at the surface, and this is detected by a sensitive directional microphone to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and reduce background clutter. The acoustic pulse strength is related to the liquid's absorption coefficient at the laser wavelength; tuning allows spectroscopic investigation and a means of chemical identification. Maximum coverage rates have been examined, and further experiments have examined the specificity of the technique, allowing a preliminary assessment of false-alarm and missed-signal rates. The practical aspects of applying the technique in a field environment have been assessed.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2004|
|Event||Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence - London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 25 Oct 2004 → 28 Oct 2004
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