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Promising Spectroscopic Techniques for the Portable Detection of Condensed-Phase Contaminants on Surfaces

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Techniques for the detection of hazardous low-volatility contaminants on surfaces are reviewed. These techniques include both point detection (i.e., in situ) and standoff detection (i.e., detection beyond the effective range of the hazard). For low-volatility agents, a standoff distance may range from a few centimeters to hundreds of meters, depending upon physical and deposition characteristics. This survey has been restricted to optical techniques that can detect contaminants on "realistic" surfaces (including civilian and military painted surfaces) and are hand-held or man-portable or those techniques that are anticipated to be made hand-held or man-portable within 5 years to one decade. A range of spectroscopic techniques are treated along with their requirements for power and consumables. Detection limits for these techniques are presented in the context of in-service technologies and in the context of civilian and military toxicity/exposure limits for various chemical warfare agents. The effects of aerosols on various spectroscopic techniques are reviewed.
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Keywords: Chemical; chemical warfare agent; contamination; detection; surface

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Defence Research & Development Canada - Suffield, Canadian Forces Base Suffield, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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