The importance of background in the Detection and Identification of Gas Plumes using Emissive Infrared Hyperspectral Sensing

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Abstract
Using a Fourier transform infrared field spectrometer, spectral infrared radiance measurements were made of several generated gas plumes against both a uniform sky and terrestrial background. Background temperature, spectral complexity, and physical homogeneity each influenced the success of emissive infrared spectral sensing technology in detecting and identifying the presence of a gas plume and its component constituents. As expected, high temperature contrast and uniform backgrounds provided the best conditions for detectability and diagnostic identification. This report will summarize some of SITAC’s findings concerning plume detectability, including the importance of plume cooling, plumes in emission and absorption, the effects of optical thickness, and the effects of condensing plumes on gas detection.

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