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Only with the recent emergence of high-speed, large format infrared imaging arrays has it been possible to design chemical sensors offering uncompromising performance in the spectral, spatial, as well as the temporal domain.
It is clear from analytical studies that the combined spatial and spectral information holds enormous promises on improving the current performance of passive detection, identification and quantification of chemical agents.
Additional required sensor characteristics include high sensitivity, low false alarms and high-speed (ideally real-time) operation, all in a compact and robust package.
Telops has developed an innovative instrument that can not only provide an early warning for chemical agents and toxic chemicals, but also one that provides a "Chemical Map" in the field of view.
Sensor requirements derived from these applications include high sensitivity, low false alarms and real-time operation, all in a compact and robust package suitable for field use.
The thermal infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum has been utilized to implement such chemical sensors, either with spectrometers (with no or moderate imaging capability) or with imagers (with moderate spectral capability).
The FIRST is based on FTIR technology to provide high spectral resolution and to enable high accuracy radiometric calibration.
The FIRST, a man portable sensor, provides datacubes of up to 320x256 pixels at 0.35 mrad spatial resolution over the 8-12 μm spectral range at spectral resolutions of up to 0.25 cm-1.