Setup and Analysis of a Mid-Infrared Stand-Off System to Detect Traces of Explosives on Fabrics

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Oct 15;22(20):7839. doi: 10.3390/s22207839.


The increasing number of terrorist attacks within the last decade has demonstrated that taking preventive protective measures is highly important. In addition to existing measures, automated detection systems for fast and reliable explosive detection are required. A sensitive spectroscopic system based on mid-infrared spectroscopy has been developed and applied to explosive samples on different types of fabric under various geometric conditions. Using this system, traces of TNT, RDX, PETN and ammonium nitrate can be detected in less than a second. Various approaches for data pretreatment (wavelength calibration) and subsequent analysis (normalization, removal of atmospheric water absorption lines) are presented and the remaining challenges on the road to a fully automated system, including a robust classification algorithm, are discussed.

Keywords: EC-QCL; automation; laser based explosives detection; remote sensing; security checkpoints; selective screening.

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Explosive Agents*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Textiles
  • Water


  • Explosive Agents
  • Water

Grant support

This research received no external funding.