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Performance Validation Strategies for Chemical Agent Detectors Bases on Ion Mobility Spectrometry



Pamela M. Chu, C S. Harden, M Bishop, D C. Meirer, Michele M. Schantz


The current Department of Defense (DoD) operational requirements for the Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) call for agent dosage measurements with an accuracy of 20 % in the field. However, no infrastructure or standard methods exist for the user to validate the capabilities of the chemical agent detectors at the concentration levels identified in the performance requirements. To address this issue and develop the necessary standards, two major areas should be pursued. Appropriate simulants need to be identified, and the detector responses for simulants and agents correlated for each sensor technology. A calibration system that can reliably verify the delivery of known simulant concentrations is needed to obtain assurance that chemical detectors generate alarms at the required concentrations within the required time frame. This report outlines the research and development required to validate the performance of ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) chemical agent detectors through the identification of appropriate simulants and the development of a prototype high-accuracy vapor generation system with in-situ, real-time verification of the simulant concentrations delivered to detectors under test. In the long term, this calibration system can be tailored to deliver and measure a number of different simulants to meet the different calibration needs of the wide variety of deployed and to-be-deployed chemical detector technologies. The target accuracy of the system is 1% at the performance levels specified for the JCAD. These needs were identified by the Joint Services Calibration Coordination Group Chem/Bio Working Group. These new capabilities will provide the required infrastructure and standards to independently verify detector performance
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7326
Report Number


calibration, chemical sensor validation, high-accuracy vapor streams, mobility spectrometry


Chu, P. , Harden, C. , Bishop, M. , Meirer, D. and Schantz, M. (2006), Performance Validation Strategies for Chemical Agent Detectors Bases on Ion Mobility Spectrometry, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed July 25, 2024)


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Created June 1, 2006, Updated February 19, 2009