Field testing of small, fast, rugged Fourier Transform Spectrometer in the air and on the ground

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Courtesy of D&P Instruments

Designs & Protoypes, LTD. has fielded a small, very fast, and rugged rotary Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) which can be used for environmental remote sensing and chemical detection. The continuous rotary scan of the Turbo FT allows operation without the laser reference of conventional FT spectrometers, and it has been demonstrated to deliver 360 spectral scans per second and 1 cm-1 resolution, with excellent lineshape. A new 'space frame' version of the interferometer, with excellent mechanical and thermal stability, was field tested in an airborne system and in a ground based unit during the year 2000, with good results. The interferometer for this instrument is palm sized, and weighs 20 oz. It is also totally sealed from the environment, and was mounted, with its drive electronics, into a temperature stabilized enclosure for both field tests.

The airborne system was a single pixel configuration, mounted in a fixed wing research aircraft used for geologic surveys. The ground instrument was tripod mounted, and ran in an imaging mode having 16 individual pixels in its focal plane.

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