Abstract

A differential absorption radiometer sensor that was optimized for near-perfect (∼2%) correction of the absorption by ambient atmospheric species (e.g., water) is described. A target gas is detected remotely by its IR signature viewed through a bandpass filter centered at one of its strongest lines. A second radiometric measurement obtained through a bandpass filter centered at a frequency optimized to match the absorption by an atmospheric trace species (e.g., water vapor) at the sample filter frequency provides near-perfect correction for dominant background absorption effects. The net absorption (emission) by the target gas was obtained through subtraction of the reference signal of the second measurement from that of the target gas measurement. For multiple species detection, additional sample and reference filter pairs can be configured. Predictions show that detection of strong absorbers such as dimethyl methylphosphonate at an optical density below 100 mg/m2 is possible from distances of <6 km.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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