Description: This paper discusses the development of an advanced millimeter-wave (mm-wave) chemical sensor and its applications for environmental monitoring and arms control treaty verification. The purpose of this work is to investigate the use of fingerprint-type molecular rotational signatures in the mm-wave spectrum to sense airborne chemicals. The mm-wave spectrum to sense airborne chemicals. The mm-wave sensor, operating in the frequency range of 220-300 GHz, can work under all weather conditions and in smoky and dusty environments. The basic configuration of the mm-wave sensor is a monostatic swept-frequency radar consisting of a mm-wave sweeper, a hot-electron-bolometer or Schottky barrier detector, and a trihedral reflector. The chemical plume to be detected is situated between the transmitter/detector and the reflector. Millimeter-wave absorption spectra of chemicals in the plume are determined by measuring the swept-frequency radar return signals with and without the plume in the beam path. The problem of pressure broadening, which hampered open-path spectroscopy in the past, has been mitigated in this work by designing a fast sweeping source over a broad frequency range. The heart of the system is a Russian backward-wave oscillator (BWO) tube that can be tuned over 220-350 GHz. Using the Russian BWO tube, a mm-wave radar system was built and field-tested at the DOE Nevada Test Site at a standoff distance of 60 m. The mm-wave system detected chemical plumes very well; the detection sensitivity for polar molecules like methyl chloride was down to a concentration of 12 ppm.
Date: March 24, 1999
Creator: Gopalsami, N.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department