Laser-Based Thermal Particle Detector
Original Publication Date: 1987-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
A laser-based thermal detector device can be used to provide fast detection of contamination on a variety of surfaces in standard atmospheres. The device uses the characteristic thermal signature of contaminants to identify them by their rapid thermal rise during the short time they are heated. It is able to distinguish a contaminant from the background by using a short wavelength infrared (IR) detector which is not sensitive to ambient temperature blackbody thermal emissions. The infrared detector operates to restrict the detector field of view with a cooled aperture, using collection optics with an effective f-number of 16 or greater. A diagram of the device is shown in the figure. The operating principle is to detect the contaminant's infrared thermal emission upon heating.