Abstract

This paper presents a new laser-based method of gas detection that permits real-time television images of gases to be produced. The principle of this technique [which is called backscatter absorption gas imaging (BAGI)] and the operation of two instruments used to implement it are described. These instruments use 5-W and 20-W CO2 lasers to achieve gas imaging at ranges of approximately 30 and 125 m, respectively. Derivations of relevant BAGI signal equations that can be used to predict the performance of a gas imager are provided. The predictions of this model and the measured range performance of an extended-range gas imager are compared. Finally, the results of gas sensitivity measurements and imaging tests on flowing gases are presented. These can be used to generate a realistic estimate of the BAGI sensitivity expected in detecting leaks of many different vapors.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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