Detection of Explosives on Surfaces Using UV Raman Spectroscopy: Effect of Substrate Color

Report No. ARL-TR-8181
Authors: Cole Patrick; Charles J Cal; Dairen R Jean; Nicholas F Fell Jr
Date/Pages: October 2017; 28 pages
Abstract: Detection of trace levels of explosives on vehicle surfaces is a significant challenge for deployed troops and domestic counterterrorism personnel. The ability to remotely detect a potential vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at a safe distance is a crucial capability. Several companies have proposed UV Raman spectroscopy to meet this need and have constructed and tested systems. One limitation of much of this testing is that it has been performed with bare metal, white-painted, or black-painted surfaces. This investigation seeks to determine the effect of additional colors of vehicle paints with Clearcoat on the ability of UV Raman to detect explosives on these surfaces. The initial results reported here compare visible Raman spectra of Ford Color Standards to the UV Raman spectra of the same panels to determine whether there is any significant background signal in either case. The results clearly show a strong luminescent background in all of the visible Raman spectra and only a weak Raman background signal in the case of UV Raman spectra with 150° backscattering at all 3 UV excitation wavelengths and the onset of luminescence between 1,400 and 1,500 cmâ??1 with 180° backscattering at 257.23-nm excitation.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2017