MEMS Lamellar Based Interferometer for the Detection of Toxic Chemicals
Leveraging on Agiltron industry leading development of optical MEMS devices and the PI experience with FTIR spectrometer design, we propose to develop a new class of high performance compact and rugged FTIR spectrometers for the LWIR optical range. The design is based on the MEMS lamellar mirror technique. Although this approach is not new, it has not yet been efficiently applied to LWIR, and performance of existing devices is completely inadequate in this range. The Agiltron approach advances both the resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of MEMS FTIR spectrometers by orders of magnitude. Using the developed lamellar mirror chip it will be possible to produce a handheld Chemical Agent Detector with 1 ppb sensitivity. Based on Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy, this instrument will provide the advantages of being more sensitive, universal, reconfigurable and less prone to errors and false-positive alarms. The viability of the technical approach was proven in Phase I through the design, fabrication, and demonstration of a functional spectrometer. The proposed Phase II effort will focus on refining the design and developing a production-ready instrument. A functioning instrument will be delivered to DTRA for evaluation and testing with chemical warfare agents.
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