An overview of the important techniques for detection of optical radiation from the ultraviolet, through visible to infrared spectral regions is presented. At the beginning single-point devices are considered. Next, di.erent application circuits used in direct detection systems together with elucidation of the design of front-end circuits and discussion of their performance are presented. Third part of the paper is devoted to advanced techniques including coherent detection. Finally, the updated information devoted to readout of signals from detector arrays and focal plane arrays is included. It is shown that detector focal plane technology has revolutionized many kinds of imaging in the past 25 years.
Detection of explosives vapors is an extremely difficult task. The sensitivity of currently constructed detectors is often insufficient. The paper presents a description of an explosive vapors concentrator that improves the detection limit of some explosives detectors. These detectors have been developed at the Institute of Optoelectronics. The concentrator is especially dedicated to operate with nitrogen oxide detectors. Preliminary measurements show that using the concentrator, the recorded amount of nitrogen dioxide released from a 0.5 ng sample of TNT increases by a factor of approx. 20. In the concentrator an induction heater is applied. Thanks to this and because of the miniaturization of the container with an adsorbing material (approx. 1 cm3), an extremely high rate of temperature growth is achieved (up to 500 °C within approx. 25 s). The concentration process is controlled by a microcontroller. Compact construction and battery power supply provide a possibility of using the concentrator as a portable device.