The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is set to publish a report later this year to outline the results of its recent assessment of three field portable gas chromatograph/mass spectrometers used to chemically analyze substances.
DHS S&T's System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders Program developed the evaluation to assess the field instruments' capabilities and help emergency responder organizations decide on which instrument is best suited to their needs and requirements, the department said Tuesday.
During the assessment, a group of seven first responder evaluators operated the chemical identification devices and tested their capabilities to analyze samples from common, non-toxic, consumer products.
The evaluators, which included policemen and firefighters, rated the affordability, deployability, usability, capability and maintainability of each instrument based on their needs in the field.
DHS S&T collaborated with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the assessment, which took place at the Seattle Joint Training Facility in Washington.