skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Remote Chemical Detection using Quantum Cascade Lasers

Abstract

The Infrared Technologies Program at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is focused on the science and technology of remote and in-situ chemical sensors for detecting proliferation and countering terrorism. The program is focusing on the infrared detection of gaseous species including chemical warfare agents and gases associated with the production of chemical and nuclear weapons. Several sensors under development are based on miniature infrared quantum cascade (QC) lasers constructed of semiconductor material. The QC laser is unique in that by simply changing the thickness of the semiconductor layers, the laser's wavelength can be changed to target molecular absorption features of specific chemicals. For remote sensing over long optical paths, QC lasers are applied to remote areas using the differential-absorption LIDAR technique. Using a single laser, this technique can easily monitor large areas that would require a large network of point sensors. The original remote sensing configuration, suitable for laboratory applications, consisted of an optical table, laser, beam expander, telescope, mirror, and various supporting electronic and optical components. Recently, PNNL began development of a ruggedized version to conduct experiments in real-world conditions. To reduce the effects of thermal distortion, the system had to be operated from within a large, wellmore » insulated, temperature-controlled trailer. The optical breadboard was attached to 4 shock-mounts to reduce shock and vibrational loads to the optical set-up during transport. A custom jacking system using electromechanical actuators was designed to affix the optical table directly to the ground through penetrations in the trailer floor. The jacking system allows remote sensing at longer ranges (up to 5 km) by eliminating jitter caused by wind or personnel movement within the trailer. A computer-controlled gimbal-mounted mirror was added to allow the laser beam to be accurately pointed in both the vertical and horizontal plane. Mechanical tests and finite element analysis were undertaken to verify that the gimbal drives and mounting hardware had sufficient capacity to handle the inertia of the large 22-inch diameter mirror while maintaining adequate mirror flatness. This paper will provide an overview of the remote chemical detection system and will describe innovative optical mechanical solutions developed to overcome several alignment and stability issues.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
899817
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-47429
NN2001000; TRN: US200708%%548
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1st Joint Emergency Preparedness and Response/Robotic and Remote Systems Topical Meeting, 695-701
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ABSORPTION; CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS; DETECTION; GASES; LASERS; MECHANICAL TESTS; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; OPTICAL RADAR; PROLIFERATION; REMOTE AREAS; REMOTE SENSING; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Hatchell, Brian K., Harper, Warren W., and Gervais, Kevin L.. Remote Chemical Detection using Quantum Cascade Lasers. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Hatchell, Brian K., Harper, Warren W., & Gervais, Kevin L.. Remote Chemical Detection using Quantum Cascade Lasers. United States.
Hatchell, Brian K., Harper, Warren W., and Gervais, Kevin L.. Wed . "Remote Chemical Detection using Quantum Cascade Lasers". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_899817,
title = {Remote Chemical Detection using Quantum Cascade Lasers},
author = {Hatchell, Brian K. and Harper, Warren W. and Gervais, Kevin L.},
abstractNote = {The Infrared Technologies Program at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is focused on the science and technology of remote and in-situ chemical sensors for detecting proliferation and countering terrorism. The program is focusing on the infrared detection of gaseous species including chemical warfare agents and gases associated with the production of chemical and nuclear weapons. Several sensors under development are based on miniature infrared quantum cascade (QC) lasers constructed of semiconductor material. The QC laser is unique in that by simply changing the thickness of the semiconductor layers, the laser's wavelength can be changed to target molecular absorption features of specific chemicals. For remote sensing over long optical paths, QC lasers are applied to remote areas using the differential-absorption LIDAR technique. Using a single laser, this technique can easily monitor large areas that would require a large network of point sensors. The original remote sensing configuration, suitable for laboratory applications, consisted of an optical table, laser, beam expander, telescope, mirror, and various supporting electronic and optical components. Recently, PNNL began development of a ruggedized version to conduct experiments in real-world conditions. To reduce the effects of thermal distortion, the system had to be operated from within a large, well insulated, temperature-controlled trailer. The optical breadboard was attached to 4 shock-mounts to reduce shock and vibrational loads to the optical set-up during transport. A custom jacking system using electromechanical actuators was designed to affix the optical table directly to the ground through penetrations in the trailer floor. The jacking system allows remote sensing at longer ranges (up to 5 km) by eliminating jitter caused by wind or personnel movement within the trailer. A computer-controlled gimbal-mounted mirror was added to allow the laser beam to be accurately pointed in both the vertical and horizontal plane. Mechanical tests and finite element analysis were undertaken to verify that the gimbal drives and mounting hardware had sufficient capacity to handle the inertia of the large 22-inch diameter mirror while maintaining adequate mirror flatness. This paper will provide an overview of the remote chemical detection system and will describe innovative optical mechanical solutions developed to overcome several alignment and stability issues.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share: