Chemical Detectors in Defence

Chemical agents are of major concern as many of them are manufactured, transported, and dispensed with ease; and symptoms are immediate and mortality is very high. Rapid detection enables faster, efficient and tailored response by military, first responders and homeland security. The knowledge allows assessment of the severity and extent of a hazard. Areas that are clean or contaminated are identified. The information acquired by these systems help in donning of individual protective equipment (IPE), sampling, handling and analysis of situations.
The present report presents information on compatible instruments, consumables, and computer based laboratory systems available for detections of chemical warfare agents. This includes explosives for applications in safety needs and analytical chemistry, adhering to the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and other related treaties around the world.
Fully automated chemical detectors have been devised for real-time aerosol sample collection, concentration, detection, and identification in the field while taking care to maintain the highest level of sensitivity and low levels of detection. Many of the commercially available CWA detectors utilize technologies that are adapted from classical analytical chemistry techniques.
Chemical detectors are designed for fixed and 24/7 outdoor and indoor monitoring and surveillance, which use principles of flame photometry, gas chromatography / mass spectrometry, infra-red spectroscopy, ion mobility spectrophotometry, photo ionization and flame ionization, laser, Raman spectroscopy, surface acoustic wave, fluorescence and other technologies for detection and identification of the chemical agents including toxic gases and explosives. Technologies and equipment are available to counter the effects of chemical agents and a number of protective gadgets and equipment for protection and decontaminating materials are in application. A brief description of the well-known, commercial-off-the-shelf instruments that employ these technologies is provided in the guide.
This report provides a review of the open-source literature (unclassified) and summarizes information obtained from manufacturers regarding the available technologies and commercially available equipment currently employed for the detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs).
The focus of this report is on available equipment, and technologies for environmental alerts, sampling, detection, and identification of chemical warfare agents including information on decontaminants and protective equipment used by first responders to investigate an unusual event that has happened in the environment by collecting, screening and identifying the chemical materials from the field.
Information provided in the book is meant for reference purposes for educating the general public, defence industry, homeland security agencies, local, state and national governments on globally available chemical equipment and technologies used in combating WMDs, terrorism, and homeland security for safety of citizens and critical infrastructure and respond to incidents of CBRNe incidents. This guide provides information on types of equipment and detection technologies and not to make any comparison between them, providing options best suited to these agencies to meet their requirements. Minimum information is provided on the performance metrics in terms of quantity or concentration of organism detected and to the extent possible, reference to certification by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has also been avoided so as to minimize the biased decisions.