Wollaston prism based interferometer for chemical and biological early warning

Period of Performance: 07/11/2012 - 07/11/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Quantaspec Inc.
PO Box 163
Essex Junction, VT 05453
Principal Investigator


Rugged field spectrometers with no moving parts are needed for detecting chemical, biological, and explosive threats using the long wavelength (LWIR) spectrum. QuantaSpec has successfully designed and developed a no moving parts spectrometer with a spectral range of 7 to 12 microns in a past project. QuantaSpec has also built a functioning Wollaston prism spectrometer. This proposal will implement improvements to the Wollaston prism spectrometer to increase the spectral resolution. The performance of the spectrometer will then be characterized. The spectrometer will be integrated with a light source and sample cell to form a gas sensor. The developed gas sensor will be tested to determine the minimum detectable level (MDL) of the sensor for detection of triethyl phosphate (TEP). TEP is a simulant for the chemical warfare agent sarin (GB). The design team for this project includes a Physics Nobel Laureate who is a renowned expert in ultra-sensitive laser absorption spectroscopy. The proposed project will also benefit from QuantaSpec s past experience in designing, developing, and testing similar spectrometers. QuantaSpec has received interest from at least one prime contractor in integrating this device into three products because of its small size, light weight, spectral range, and ruggedness.