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Development of Photoacoustic Sensing Platforms at the US Army Research Laboratory

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Technical Report

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US Army Research Laboratory Adelphi United States

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Traditionally, chemical sensing platforms have been hampered by the opposing concerns of increasing sensor capability while maintaining a minimal package size. Current sensors, although reasonably sized, are geared to more classical chemical threats, and the ability to expand their capabilities to a broader range of emerging threats is uncertain. Recently, photoacoustic spectroscopy, employed in a sensor format, has shown enormous potential to address these ever-changing threats. Photoacoustic spectroscopy is one of the more flexible IR spectroscopy variants, and that flexibility allows for the construction of sensors that are designed for specific tasks. The US Army Research Laboratory has, for the past 14 years, engaged in research into the development of photoacoustic sensing platforms with the goal of sensor miniaturization and the detection of a variety of chemical targets both proximally and at range. This report reviews this work.

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