The Departments of Defense and the Army are expanding their understanding towards the detection of hazardous chemicals to address the concurrent threats of toxic industrial chemicals; explosives, homemade explosives or precursors; potentially illegal drugs and their precursors; in addition to traditional chemical warfare agents. Explosives detection is a form of chemical detection, albeit wrought with unique challenges. Traditional CBE sensors are often segmented according to a complex space of agents (C, B, E), sensor placement (point, standoff, remote), and level of analysis (screen, classify, identify). While the ultimate detector is one that can precisely identify a combination of C, B and E threat agents at operationally-significant standoff ranges, we are not there today with any deployable or affordable solution. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are not a new threat, but they have evolved to be the strategic weapon of choice for terrorists. The challenge of detecting IEDs for various high threat military and civilian operational scenarios requires detecting more than just explosive materials. A potential solution to support improved point, proximity, and stand-off detection is the fused sensing of multiple detection modalities.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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