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Infrared hyperspectral standoff detection of explosives

: Fuchs, F.; Hugger, S.; Jarvis, J.P.; Blattmann, V.; Kinzer, M.; Yang, Q.K.; Ostendorf, R.; Bronner, W.; Driad, R.; Aidam, R.; Wagner, J.


Fountain, A.W. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) sensing XIV : 30 April - 3 May 2013, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2013 (Proceedings of SPIE 8710)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9501-3
Paper 87100I
Conference "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing" (CBRNE) <14, 2013, Baltimore/Md.>
Defense, Security and Sensing Symposium <2013, Baltimore/Md.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAF ()
standoff detection; explosives; remote sensing; tunable infrared laser; quantum cascade laser; external cavity laser; hyperspectral image analyis

In this work we demonstrate imaging standoff detection of solid traces of explosives using infrared laser backscattering spectroscopy. Our system relies on active laser illumination in the 7 µm-10 µm spectral range at fully eye-safe power levels. This spectral region comprises many characteristic absorption features of common explosives, and the atmospheric transmission is sufficiently high for stand-off detection. The key component of our system is an external cavity quantum cascade laser with a tuning range of 300 cm(-1) that enables us to scan the illumination wavelength over several of the characteristic spectral features of a large number of different explosives using a single source. We employ advanced hyperspectral image analysis to obtain fully automated detection and identification of the target substances even on substrates that interfere with the fingerprint spectrum of the explosive to be detected due to their own wavelength-dependent scattering contributions to the measured backscattering spectrum. Only the pure target spectra of the explosives have to be provided to the detection routine that nevertheless accomplishes reliable background suppression without any a-priory-information about the substrate.