Abstract

High-sensitivity measurements of infrared absorptions due to isolated lines broadened by air at atmospheric pressure are reported. Tunable diode lasers and harmonic techniques were employed to detect absorptions as small as 0.01% over path lengths up to 250 m through the open air. The limiting noise source is caused by a base line signal which varies with the optical alignment. The reported sensitivity is not a fundamental limit. Techniques for further increasing sensitivity are discussed.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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