The great strengths of the ATR-FTIR technique for identifying chemicals are the technique’s analysis speed, sample handling simplicity, spectral measurement in the definitive chemical “fingerprint” region, and access to extensive spectral databases. The first three strengths are inherent to the FTIR technique; the latter strength is related to the importance and effort that the analyzer manufacturer places in developing and offering spectral libraries.
Our view at RedWave Technology is that our ThreatID FTIR chemical analyzer and our spectral database are like the proverbial hammer and nail, one is necessary for the other to get the job done. We also believe that a spectral database is never really completed, and should always be growing and advancing as new threats emerge. We also strongly believe that the analyzer provides actionable intelligence – threat toxicity and routes of action, threat mitigation, common uses, common names, and protective ensemble recommendations – based on the threat identification. For this reason, RedWave Technology invests significant time and resources in the continuing development of spectral libraries and database search enhancements.
Last week, Dr. David Schiering, RedWave Technology’s Chief Technical Officer, spent several days at the Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland, our government’s R&D site for chemical and biological defense, recording the spectra of critical WMD agents including blister, nerve, and Fourth Generation Agents.
The infrared spectra of these highly toxic chemicals are now incorporated in a separate library in the ThreatID database and are available to our users. In addition to the more “common” agents, several Fourth Generation, also known as Novichoks or A-series agents, were measured and our WMD library now contains the IR spectra of these highly toxic, persistent agents.
This announcement is an example of RedWave Technology’s commitment to continue the enhancement and expansion of ThreatID’s spectral database, ThreatAssist As important as adding a library of chemical agents, we are continually upgrading the database with libraries in application areas outside of WMDs. Of particular relevance, and an area of focus is the development and enhancement of libraries that contain a range of both solid and liquid mixtures. With respect to mixtures, advanced algorithms for analyzing these more complicated samples are another area of concentrated development here at RedWave.
The ThreatID system now comes standard with a database containing over 12,000 spectra of explosives, pesticides, TICs, TIMs, and forensic drugs, and is continually growing. We have recently updated the consumer products, powders, and common household goods libraries. As threats change, we rapidly add them to our libraries and, for example, the ThreatID database now contains an advanced opiate spectral library. Furthermore, ThreatID users can purchase third-party IR spectral libraries, which can add up to an additional 40,000 spectra to the overall database. One of ThreatID’s advantages over handheld Raman and IR hazmat analyzers is that its spacious storage enables 50,000 reference spectra to be contained on-board. This is greater than any other commercial spectroscopic hazmat analyzer currently available.
The continual development and expansion of ThreatID spectral libraries is another example of RedWave Technology’s unwavering commitment to developing the best hazmat analyzers and to providing support that matches the demanding requirements of the hazmat response community.
Main Title – New Jersey National Guard Hazmat by Mark C. Olsen
1. “With Science We Defend” – U.S Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center