Polarization-sensitive lidar methods for biological agent detection
Detection and discrimination of aerosolized biological weapons at standoff distances has proven to be a challenging task. Traditional approaches have proven to be successful for many types of applications, but have shown limitations under specific conditions. For instance, Ultra Violet Laser Induced Fluorescence (UV-LIF) has been the detection standard for many years, yet this technique is known to struggle to discriminate among biological aerosols as well as certain interferents. Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies has developed a new detection scheme relying on multi-spectral polarization signatures to detect and discriminate biological agents from other non-biological aerosols as well as identification among different types of biological agents. This technique has proven to be successful against a variety of interferents including diesel exhaust. The polarization-sensitive method takes advantage of the morphology of the target aerosols as well as their absorptive properties which modifies the scattering of the multi-spectral light. This technique has unique potential for long-range standoff detection of biological agents operating in all light conditions (including daylight) in real-world battlefield environments. Fielded systems relying on this type of detection scheme have been proven successful in numerous field campaigns over a wide range of atmospheric conditions.
Proceedings of the Seventh Joint Conference on Standoff Detection for Chemical and Biological Defense