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.

Publication Date



"The importance of background in the detection and identification of gas plumes using emissive infrared hyperspectral sensing," Proceedings of the SPIE, Image Exploitation and Target Recognition, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery IX, Vol. 5093. The International Society of Optical Engineers. Held in Orlando, Florida: April 2003. This paper is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. The authors would like to thank the Central MASINT Organization, its Technology Coordination Office, SITAC, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region-7 for the sponsoring and support of these collections. These efforts particularly benefited from the efforts and dedication of Mark Thomas of the EPA, participants from AeroSurvey, LANL, Airborne Imaging, McKinzie Environmental, Rochester Institute of Technology, and ABB Bomem. Craig Miller and Joe Leckie from SITAC provided able assistance with the experimental setup and measurements.ISSN:0277-786X Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus