The successful development of the proposed sensor system will have extensive NASA's applications. The proposed system will create an opportunity to extend and enhance the capability of traditional NASA Earth and Planetary detection efforts in current platforms. It meets NASA's multiple-mission requirements for the best use of limited resources by reducing the risk, cost, size, weight as well as power consumption. It will also enable new measurements with enhanced sensitivity for the planetary study. In addition, the proposed sensor will be useful for the study of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane which are great contributors to an overall global warming trend. It will help to identify the sources of greenhouse gases and thus understanding the terrestrial carbon cycle and its contribution to the climate change.
Besides NASA applications, the proposed sensor system has significant commercial and defense applications. It will benefit the civilian R&D including materials study, spectral imaging, remote sensing, atmospheric physics, geology, seismology, and medical diagnostics. In addition, the proposed sensor can be used for environmental monitoring such as industrial pollutions, chemical facility monitoring, forest fire detection and agriculture monitoring, etc. Therefore, there are many potential civilian and commercial applications for the proposed lightweight, compact sensor. The proposed standoff sensor can also help law enforcement agencies to discover potential explosive devices from terrorist threats; for example, it will be useful for the explosive detection in commercial airports and various public events to counter terrorism. Finally, the sensor may also be used to detect and track toxic plumes and gases during chemical and biological threats.