Progress has been made into adapting and enhancing a commercially available infrared spectrometer for the development of a handheld device for in-field measurements of the chemical composition of various samples of materials. The intent is to duplicate the functionality of a benchtop Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) within the compactness of a handheld instrument with significantly improved spectral responsivity.

Existing commercial technology, like the deuterated L-alanine triglycine sulfide detectors (DLATGS), is capable of sensitive in-field chemical analysis. This proposed approach compares several subsystem elements of the FTIR inside of the commercial, non-benchtop system to the commercial benchtop systems. These subsystem elements are the detector, the preamplifier and associated electronics of the detector, the interferometer, associated readout parameters, and cooling.

This effort will examine these different detector subsystem elements to look for limitations in each. These limitations will be explored collaboratively with the commercial provider, and will be prioritized to meet the deliverable objectives. The tool design will be that of a handheld gun containing the IR filament source and associated optics. It will operate in a “point-and-shoot” manner, pointing the source and optics at the sample under test and capturing the reflected response of the material in the same handheld gun. Data will be captured via the gun and ported to a laptop.

This work was done by Diane Pugel of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16002-1