40m Standoff Detection of Explosive Residue

Raw Image Displaying Explosive Residue
Raw Image
Chemical Image of Explosive Residue at Safe Distance
Eye Safe Standoff detection of explosives

ChemImage Sensor Systems (CISS) has developed an Eye-Safe Standoff Fusion Detection (ESFD) Sensor under contract with the US Army Research Office (ARO) and in coordination with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The ESFD sensor combines a laser Raman standoff detector with a wide area surveillance sensor in an eye-safe configuration for the standoff detection of chemical, biological, and explosive (CBE) materials. Standoff detection of these materials allow soldiers to evaluate a suspected threat from a safe distance, and has the potential to save the lives of soldiers and civilians. This program has focused on:

  • Development of a novel design for eye-safe, laser based sensor
  • Fusion of multiple sensing techniques for detection of CBE threats


For optimal detection, the ESFD sensor combines short-wave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging, Raman hyperspectral imaging and Long-wave infrared (LWIR) imaging. Alone, each of these techniques has limitations, but by developing a sensor fusion platform, CISS has been able to greatly improve the overall system performance. SWIR provides wide area surveillance capability while Raman provides threat material confirmation capability, and LWIR provides a biometric monitoring capability that enables the laser system to be automatically turned off in the presence of humans who could come into contact with the laser beam where the sample is being evaluated.


CISS has developed innovative human object imaging and tracking algorithms to prevent injury to humans who may be approaching or already have breached the eye hazard zone. The system uses a UV laser that produces high Raman signal, yet is much safer to the eye than visible lasers. The system uses an optical design that minimizes the eye hazard zone around the focal point of the laser. LWIR imaging is used in combination with the human object tracking to first detect heat signatures indicating human presence. If a human is detected, the laser shutter is prompted to close, cutting off the laser beam and avoiding any contact with humans.