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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Copyright 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus