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Passive millimeter-wave systems have been used in the past to remotely map solid targets and to measure low-pressure spectral lines of stratospheric and interstellar gases; however, its application to pressure-broadened spectral line detection of industrial emissions is new. We developed a radiative transfer model to determine feasibility and system requirements for passive millimeter-wave spectral detection of terrestrial gases. We designed and built a Dicke-switched multispectral radiometer in the 146-154-GHz band to detect nitric oxide (NO), a prototypical gas of nuclear fuel processing operations. We first tested the spectral detection capability of the radiometer in the laboratory using a gas cell and then field tested it at the Nevada test site at a distance of 600 m from a stack that released hot plumes of NO and air. With features such as Dicke-switched integration, frequent online calibration, and spectral baseline subtraction, we demonstrated the feasibility of remote detection of terrestrial gases by a ground-based radiometer.