Photoacoustic spectroscopy for remote detection of liquid contamination

Harris, Michael, Perrett, Brian, Benton, David M. and Willetts, David V. (2004). Photoacoustic spectroscopy for remote detection of liquid contamination. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 5617 , pp. 136-144.


The remote detection and identification of liquid chemical contamination is a difficult problem for which no satisfactory solution has yet been found. We have investigated a new technique, pulsed indirect photoacoustic spectroscopy (PIPAS), and made an assessment of its potential for operation at stand-off ranges of order 10m. The method involves optical excitation of the liquid surface with a pulsed laser operating in the 9-11μm region. Pulse lengths are of order 3μs, with energy ∼300μJ and repetition rates ∼200Hz. Rapid heating of the liquid by the laser pulse produces acoustic emission at the surface, and this is detected by a sensitive directional microphone to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and reduce background clutter. The acoustic pulse strength is related to the liquid's absorption coefficient at the laser wavelength; tuning allows spectroscopic investigation and a means of chemical identification. Maximum coverage rates have been examined, and further experiments have examined the specificity of the technique, allowing a preliminary assessment of false-alarm and missed-signal rates. The practical aspects of applying the technique in a field environment have been assessed.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences > Aston Institute of Photonics Technology
Additional Information: Copyright 2004 SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chemical,Liquid,Photoacoustic,Remote-sensing,Spectroscopy,Stand-off,Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials,Condensed Matter Physics,Computer Science Applications,Applied Mathematics,Electrical and Electronic Engineering
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.spi ... /12.577513.full (Publisher URL)
Published Date: 2004-12-01
Authors: Harris, Michael
Perrett, Brian
Benton, David M. ( 0000-0003-0663-1404)
Willetts, David V.



Version: Published Version

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