Abstract

We demonstrate that objects buried in sand (1 to 4 mm deep) may be selectively imaged according to their chemical composition through spectral analysis of the laser-induced breakdown signal. The signal is generated by loosely focused femtosecond laser pulses having energies ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 mJ. We determine the depth from which a spectral signal may be measured as a function of pulse energy. Having in mind applications to remote sensing, chemical-specific imaging of shallowly buried objects may find use in various fields ranging from space exploration to landmine detection.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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