Abstract

A dual CO2 laser-based differential absorption lidar (DIAL) system has been constructed and demonstrated for range-resolved mapping of chemical vapor plumes. The system acquires high range resolution through the use of plasma-shutter pulse clippers that extinguish the nitrogen tail of the CO2-laser output. A programmable servomotor-driven scanner allows full hemispherical coverage of the interrogated field. A high-speed direct-detection receiver subsystem is used to gather, process, and display vapor-concentration data in near real time. Data demonstrating range-resolved detection of low concentrations of chemical plumes from ranges of 1 to 2 km are presented. In the column-content detection mode, trace levels of secondary vapors from various organophosphate liquids were monitored. Detection of an SF6 vapor plume released 16 km from the DIAL system is also adduced.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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