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Field-Deployable Devices



Thomas P. Forbes, Raychelle Burks


Reductions in instrument size, weight, and power continue to facilitate the development and application of field-deployable devices for investigative purposes. Portable analytical instrumentation supporting the rapid and reliable identification of two broad categories of compounds - drugs and hazardous materials - are of particular interest to forensic analysts, first responders, and other aligned experts. This article discusses the capabilities and limitations of commonly employed field-deployable devices, along with emerging technologies.
Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, Third Edition


Chromatography, Colorimetry, Drugs, Electrochemical sensors, Electrophoretic separations, Infrared spectroscopy, Ion mobility spectrometry, Hazardous materials, Mass spectrometry, Miniaturization, Photoionization detectors, Radiological equipment, Raman spectroscopy


Forbes, T. and Burks, R. (2023), Field-Deployable Devices, Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, Third Edition, [online],, (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created January 1, 2023, Updated January 19, 2023