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agents. It collects both liquid and solid materials from a broad range of surfaces, even highly porous and irregular surfaces like asphalt. The only real limitation is the library that is loaded onto the instrument analyzing the collected Acu-Swab-R sample. Deckert said, “SRC and Acumen Detection’s innovative design approach and rigorous manufacturing processes assure the highest quality product. Every conceivable approach to masking has been reviewed and assurances have been made to protect the suite of products from any masking attempt.” False positives are a CBRN concern since they might derail a mission needlessly. SRC systems minimize false positives using highly sophisticated algorithms to separate background biological particles from “agents of interest.” Acumen Detection’s identification assays are tested against a panel of contaminants (Arizona road dust, humic acid, diesel exhaust, saline, Montana soil) and to assure against false positives and cross reactivity. During development SRC used side-by-side testing in a dynamic aerosol chamber to ensure the best possible technologies were incorporated. To account for challenging environments, “SRC evaluated detector components against biological aerosols that were of varying concentrations, and particle sizes; with clean backgrounds, and with high-concentration road dust backgrounds. This way we can be sure that our systems have little chance of either being blinded, or spoofed into false alarming” said Moshier. Hazard detection field use includes several steps: •• •• •• •• ••

Detection of a hazard Sample collection Sample preparation Testing and finally; Hazard identification.

Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) has more than 50 years of experience partnering with agencies like the DoD. SDI’s sampling device, Custodion, leverages a special technique called solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) to collect trace level samples. This technique combines extraction, collection, and concentration of hazards present for gas-phase, liquid, and dissolved solid samples. “SPME is ideally suited for sampling in the field because of its low logistical burden for sample preparation,” said Dr. Warren Mino, senior product manager at SDI. The technique meets the JPEO-CBD need for simplified sample preparation SPME sampling is used with one of 26 | SPECOPS 14.2

SDI’s detection technologies, Guardion, which employs high-speed, high-resolution gas chromatography (GC) and a miniaturized mass spectrometer (MS) compounds in complex gases, vapors, liquids and solids. Guardion is hand-portable and ruggedized for use in a hot zone or extreme environments. “Guardion features both a touch screen and keypad for operation, providing ease-of-use in personal protective gear. All software required for sample identification and reporting is on board the system. It includes chemical warfare agent and toxic industrial chemical libraries, as well as a hazards database for rapid decision support,” said Mino. He continued, “We have an onboard verification to ensure the instrument is tuned properly and is working to our high standards of sensitivity and accuracy, which exceed market standards.” These technologies fall in line with JPEO-CBD modernization goals to improve detection systems’ ability to detect and identify non-traditional agents (NTAs), low volatility agents (vapor/aerosol), toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), and traditional chemical warfare agents (liquid, solid, vapor and aerosol). One characteristic of the combination of GC and MS is its ability to separate the sample into its individual components. For example, diesel fuel has many compounds that could mask a threat, but even in this complex background, GC/MS can detect and identify individual traces of threats. All detection equipment identifies hazards by comparing the hazard results to a comprehensive collection of known hazards called hazard libraries. SDI’s Guardian software includes chemical warfare agent and TIC libraries, as well as a hazards database for rapid decision support. Prime Alert is SDI’s bio-detection and threat verification system. It is a portable system that screens unknown powder samples for suspicious levels of all known microbes and key bio-toxins. In looking toward the future, Mino said, “Customers are always looking for smaller, lighter and faster technology. In addition to that, the use of data is the future. The ability to use multiple technologies to give users integrated information in the field will raise confidence in decision making.” In its 30-year plan JPEO-CBD agrees, “the mid-term (FY17-20) modernization goal is to improve the integration of chemical detectors. Detector information must be relayed to other information systems to support operations and enable additional analyses.”

Phoenix Defender The Royal Canadian Air Force recently conducted Phoenix Defender, an exercise held at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Quebec, aimed to improve the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to a CBRN threat at a busy military airfield using computertriggered alarms.

Another company working to meet JPEOCBD needs is Environics, which offers three detectors for special operations: •• ChemPro100i - a handheld chemical warfare agent (CWA) and toxic industrial chemical (TIC) detector. The ChemPro100i provides early warning and classification of the chemical hazard providing time for the users to protect themselves or escape from the hotzone. The ChemPro100i detects and classifies all the most common CWAs (nerve, blister, blood agents) and approximately 25 of the most common toxic industrial chemicals. •• RanidPro200 - a radionuclide identifier backpack for gamma and neutron radiation that provides a rapid response time (only a few seconds) and selective identification of the radiation source and •• ENVI Assay System - rapid tests for biological agent identification. Samuli Kirjalainen, business manager for Environics’ Chemical Detectors said, “Reducing false positives is a challenge which requires new, novel technologies such as orthogonal chemical detection, i.e. combining the sensor responses from different technologies. In addition to IMS (Ion Mobility Spectrometer), the ChemPro100i includes several semiconductor sensors which provide additional, orthogonal information on the surrounding atmosphere. This gives the ChemPro100i remarkable capabilities in terms of false alarm rejection.” As always, the military must be prepared for future challenges. The same is true for the field of hazard detection. Smaller, faster, more cost effective equipment will be needed. Terrorist threats are a global issue concerning governments, military, law enforcement and public health officials around the world. In the future, hazard detection equipment must be flexible enough to deal with unanticipated conditions as well as meeting international standards to work with partner forces and foreign agencies.  www.SPECOPS-dhp.com

Special Operations International March 2016  

Special Operations International is the most widely distributed special; operations publication in the world. Coverage includes exclusive in...

Special Operations International March 2016  

Special Operations International is the most widely distributed special; operations publication in the world. Coverage includes exclusive in...

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