Nondispersive infrared sensor
A nondispersive infrared sensor (or NDIR) sensor is a simple spectroscopic device often used as gas detector. It is called nondispersive because wavelength which passes through the sampling chamber is not pre-filtered instead a filter is used before the detector.
The main components are an infrared source (lamp), a sample chamber or light tube, a wavelength sample chamber, and gas concentration is measured electro-optically by its absorption of a specific wavelength in the infrared (IR). The IR light is directed through the sample chamber towards the detector. In parallel there is another chamber with an enclosed reference gas, typically nitrogen. The detector has an optical filter in front of it that eliminates all light except the wavelength that the selected gas molecules can absorb. Ideally other gas molecules do not absorb light at this wavelength, and do not affect the amount of light reaching the detector to compensate for interfering components. For instance, CO2 and H2O often initiate cross sensitivity in the infrared spectrum. As many measurements in the IR area are cross sensitive to H2O it is difficult to analyse for instance SO2 and NO2 in low concentrations using the infrared light principle.