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Posted: February 24, 2010
Video footage shows greenhouse gas plumes revealed by laser illumination
(Nanowerk News) Elliot Scientific showcases the novel remote sensing and imaging capabilities of the new Firefly-IR laser system by real-time visualisation of greenhouse gas plumes.
Elliot Scientific's YouTube channel presents video footage captured by scientists at the University of St. Andrews using M Squared Lasers' novel Firefly-IR laser to dramatically demonstrate the advanced capabilities of the Firefly-IR system in remote sensing, imaging and molecular spectroscopy.
In this demonstration, the Firefly-IR laser reveals the presence of a
notorious greenhouse gas - in this case methane - by using the gas molecule's
characteristic of absorbing specific infrared wavelengths. Firefly-IR's wide
tuning range (in this case tuned to 3.35Ám), high-powered nanosecond pulses
and high pulse repetition rate enabled the researchers to capture good
quality video of the escaping gas cloud.
Elliot Scientific's video shows how methane, invisible to conventional video
cameras under normal lighting conditions, cannot hide when the scene is
illuminated by the Firefly-IR laser.
The Firefly-IR provides a unique blend of high brightness coverage of the
near to mid-infrared wavelength regions and class-leading output power from a
shoebox sized source, bringing new performance capabilities to a variety of
scientific and industrial applications.
Spectroscopy and detection of greenhouse gases and hydrocarbons like CH4 & C2H6
Security - Characterisation and detection of explosives, drugs and bio-agents
Medical diagnostics: p.p.m. breath monitoring
Jet and combustion engine emissions reduction
Eye-safe illumination and IR countermeasures
Firefly's high power and low beam divergence allows it to 'see' further in
these applications, while a high pulse repetition rate enables rapid data
acquisition. Combining all three allows recovery of signals more easily from
any background noise, making the Firefly-IR ideal for video-rate imaging - a
highly desirable alternative to basic 'yes/no' detection of hazardous
substances in safety and security applications.
Firefly-IR is based on a novel intracavity OPO (optical parametric
oscillator) design, integrated with a pulsed diode-pumped laser to offer wide
tunability. A single Firefly-IR can cover the mid-IR wavelengths from ~ 2.4
to 4.7 microns, accessing the absorption features of many different molecular
The design also has major performance benefits, such as highly efficient
conversion of the nanosecond pump pulses to the mid-IR and an extremely
rugged and compact optical head. These features combine to offer cost and
space savings for the user, and significant advantages in spectroscopy,
sensing and detection applications.
Standard and customised Firefly-IR systems manufactured by M Squared Lasers
are available through Elliot Scientific Ltd. in the UK and Europe.