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Appl Opt. 2004 Nov 1;43(31):5870-85.

Passive standoff detection of chemical warfare agents on surfaces.

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  • 1Defence Research and Development Canada-Valcartier, 2459 Pie XI Boulevard North, Val-Belair, Quebec, Canada G3J 1X5.


Results are presented on the passive standoff detection and identification of chemical warfare (CW) liquid agents on surfaces by the Fourier-transform IR radiometry. This study was performed during surface contamination trials at Defence Research and Development Canada-Suffield in September 2002. The goal was to verify that passive long-wave IR spectrometric sensors can potentially remotely detect surfaces contaminated with CW agents. The passive sensor, the Compact Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer, was used in the trial to obtain laboratory and field measurements of CW liquid agents, HD and VX. The agents were applied to high-reflectivity surfaces of aluminum, low-reflectivity surfaces of Mylar, and several other materials including an armored personnel carrier. The field measurements were obtained at a standoff distance of 60 m from the target surfaces. Results indicate that liquid contaminant agents deposited on high-reflectivity surfaces can be detected, identified, and possibly quantified with passive sensors. For low-reflectivity surfaces the presence of the contaminants can usually be detected; however, their identification based on simple correlations with the absorption spectrum of the pure contaminant is not possible.

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