Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Dennis K. Killinger, Ph.D

Committee Member

Nicholas Djeu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Myung K. Kim, Ph.D

Committee Member

Martin Muschol, Ph.D.


laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, laser-induced thermal emission, spectral databases, radiative transfer, HITRAN


Laser-Induced Breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and Laser-Induced Thermal Emission (LITE) emission based laser remote sensing were investigated with the application to the remote measurements of trace chemical species. In particular, UVvisible LIBS and Mid-IR LITE systems were developed and measurements of remote targets and chemical surfaces were studied. The propagation through the atmosphere of the multi-wavelength backscattered LIBS and LITE optical spectrum with atmospheric absorption effects on the returned lidar signal was investigated. An enhanced model of the atmospheric effects on emission-based laser-remote sensing was developed and found to be consistent and in agreement with our experimental results.

LITE measurements were performed which involved heating a remote hard target and recording the vibrational band emission spectra produced. Sample heating was carried out using a 1.5W cw-CO2 10.6 μm wavelength laser, and a 9W cw-diode laser operating at 809nm. The emission spectra over the wavelength range of 8 to 14 μm was observed which can be potentially used to detect and identify chemical composition of the target. LITE spectra of DMMP and DIMP (chemical agent simulants), paints, and energetic materials on various substrates were measured for the first time.

A LIBS study was carried out with a 1.064 μm Nd:YAG laser (10 ns pulses, 50mJ per pulse) and remote LIBS measurements were performed for aluminum, copper, steel and plastics over the spectral range of 200 – 1000nm. LIBS measurements as a function of range were studied, and compared to a modified lidar equation suitable for emission based lidar remote sensing.

A computer simulation model was developed for emission-based LIDAR remote sensing such as LIBS and LITE. This involved the development and modification of atmospheric transmission modeling programs which use the HITRAN, PNNL and other atmospheric spectral databases to model the transmission of the atmosphere over a wide range of wavelengths from the deep-UV near 200 nm to the mid-IR near 14 microns. A comparison of HITRAN simulations with the PNNL database calculated spectra was carried out and used for the first time for improvements of the HITRAN database line intensities. In addition, a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the LIBS and LITE lidar return signal as a function of range was performed. This PCA analysis showed, for the first time, the degradation of the chemical selectivity (i.e. identification capability) of the emission lidar system as the range was increased and the effect of atmospheric absorption spectral lines on the propagated LIBS and LITE lidar multi-wavelength spectral signal.