Identifying dangerous substances with a laser without putting staff in danger – the accidental or intentional release of hazardous or explosive materials poses numerous threats to humans and the environment. The laser-based detection of chemical, biological and explosive hazardous substances (CBE) is one of the main topics of the Institute of Technical Physics. Having realistic scenarios in mind, spectroscopic methods such as LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy), LIF (Laser Induced Fluorescence) and Raman spectroscopy are being researched and further developed.
Using suitable laser irradiation and the recording of the backscattered spectrum, suspicious unknown substances can be detected and identified early and in a safe manner. Thus, appropriate countermeasures can be taken promptly, reducing threats to the population, rescue teams, and the environment.
In this context, particular application-relevant aspects such as eye safety, the influence of daylight and weather, as well as the identification of substances against the natural background play a fundamental role in the validation of the methods. Experimental studies in this area are carried out on the 130-metre optical test range at the DLR site Lampoldshausen.