Stand-off LIBS field trials

The Generation 4 Stand-Off LIBS system was designed specifically for a series of field trials conducted at Fort Irwin, California, and Yuma Proving Ground (Arizona) between Dec 2007 and August 2008. The field trials involved mounting the Gen 4 system (plus a suite of other sensors including a Stand-Off Raman system developed by a US company) to an M35 military truck which was then driven to various locations in the Mojave and Arizona deserts. Operating conditions were harsh due to fine airborne dust, shock and vibration from the movements of the M35 truck, and daytime temperatures reaching 120 F.

Gen 4 National Training Centre, Fort Irwin
Gen 4 National Training Centre, Fort Irwin
Gen 4 National Training Centre, Fort Irwin
Gen 4 National Training Centre, Fort Irwin

(All photographs published with permission of U.S. Army, National Training Center, Fort Irwin)

The outline specification of Gen 4 is as follows:
Operating range up to 60 metres. Double-pulse 1064 nm laser (2 x 800 mJ) or 355 nm laser (2 x 150 mJ) configurations. Three spectrographs covering the wavelength range 245 nm to 950 nm. 14" telescope (modified Meade LX200R) with custom-made robotic forkmount. Integral laser range finder under system software control to achieve autofocus of laser beam and telescope optics. Two on-board cameras, one equipped with high-power zoom lens. Entire system ruggedized for field use with all sensitive components protected against shock and vibration. External air-conditioning unit used to feed chilled air to Gen 4 electrical and electronic components. System software written in LabVIEW, allowing for full wireless remote control of Gen 4.

Gen 4 analysis screen