A Fast Approximation for Adaptive Wavelength Selection for Infrared Chemical Sensors
Active mid-infrared spectroscopy with tunable lasers is a leading technology for standoff detection and identification of trace chemicals. Information-theoretic optimal selection of the laser wavelength offers the promise of increased detection confidence at lower abundances and with fewer wavelengths. Reducing the number of wavelengths required enables faster detections and lowers sensor power consumption while keeping the optical power under eye safety limits. This paper presents an approximation to the mutual information which operates ~40000x faster than traditional techniques, thereby making near-optimal real-time sensor control computationally feasible. Application of this technique to synthetic data suggests it can reduce the number of wavelengths needed by a factor of two relative to an evenly-spaced grid, with even higher gains for chemicals with weak signatures.