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First results of a QCL-OPA based standoff system, for detecting hazardous substances in the IR-fingerprint domain

: Wilsenack, Frank; Lorenzen, Arne; Brygo, François; Awanzino, Cédric; Gutty, Francois; Grisard, Arnaud; Larat, Christian; Papillon, Dominique; Schwarz, Muriel; Lallier, Eric; Tholl, Hans Dieter; Münzhuber, Franz; Kunz, Jürgen; Raab, Michael; Rattunde, Marcel; Hugger, Stefan; Kastek, Mariusz; Piatkowski, Tadeusz


Guicheteau, J.A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIX : 16-18 April 2018, Orlando, Florida, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2018 (Proceedings of SPIE 10629)
ISBN: 978-1-5106-1770-4
ISBN: 978-1-5106-1769-8
Paper 1062902, 12 S.
Conference "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing" (CBRNE) <19, 2018, Orlando/Fla.>
Conference "Defense and Security" <2018, Orlando/Fla.>
Conference "Defense and Commercial Sensing" (DCS) <2018, Orlando/Fla.>
Fraunhofer IAF ()
remote sensing; stand-off detection; chemical warfare agent; toxic industrial chemicals; external cavity quantum cascade laser; optical parametric amplifier; Infrared detector; chemometrics; European Defence Agency

Within the framework of the first European Defence Agency (EDA) call for protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats (CBRN Protection) we established a project on active multispectral reflection fingerprinting of persistent chemical agents (AMURFOCAL). A first paper on the project AMURFOCAL has been issued last year on the SPIE conference in Warsaw, Poland. This follow up paper will be accompanied by an additional paper that deals specifically with the aspect of the 100 W-level peak power laser system tunable in the LWIR. In order to close a capability gap and to achieve detection at stand-off distances our consortium built a high peak power pulsed laser system with fast tunability from 8 to 10 μm using an external-cavity quantum cascade laser and optical parametric amplification. This system had to be tested against different substances on various surfaces with different angles of inclination to evaluate the ability for an active stand-off technology with an eye-safe laser system to detect small amounts of hazardous substances and residues. The scattered light from the background surface interferes with the signal originating from the persistent chemicals. To account for this additional difficulty new software based on neutral networks was developed for evaluation. The paper describes the basic setup of the instrument and the experiments as well as some first results for this technology.