The capability to analyze and detect the composition of distant samples (minerals, organics, and chemicals) in real time is of interest for various fields including detecting explosives, geological surveying, and pollution mapping. For the past 10 years, the University of Hawaii has been developing standoff Raman systems suitable for measuring Raman spectra of various chemicals in daytime or nighttime. In this article we present standoff Raman spectra of various minerals and chemicals obtained from a distance of 120 m using single laser pulse excitation during daytime. The standoff Raman system utilizes an 8-inch Meade telescope as collection optics and a frequency-doubled 532 nm Nd : YAG laser with pulse energy of 100 mJ/pulse and pulse width of 10 ns. A gated intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) detector is used to measure time-resolved Raman spectra in daytime with detection time of 100 ns. A gate delay of 800 ns (equivalent to target placed at 120 m distance) was used to minimize interference from the atmospheric gases along the laser beam path and near-field scattering. Reproducible, good quality single-shot Raman spectra of various inorganic and organic chemicals and minerals such as ammonium nitrate, potassium perchlorate, sulfur, gypsum, calcite, benzene, nitrobenzene, etc., were obtained through sealed glass vials during daytime. The data indicate that various chemicals could easily be identified from their Raman fingerprint spectra from a far standoff distance in real time using single-shot laser excitation.
Anupam K. Misra, Shiv K. Sharma, Tayro E. Acosta, John N. Porter, and David E. Bates, "Single-Pulse Standoff Raman Detection of Chemicals from 120 m Distance During Daytime," Appl. Spectrosc. 66, 1279-1285 (2012)