Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
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Hazmat ID resolved
Published:  08 September, 2016

A new handheld tool can ‘see’ through containers to identify hazmat materials.

Resolve uses Cobalt’s Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy technology to quickly identify hazardous and contraband materials inside unopened opaque containers such as coloured plastics, dark glass, paper, card, wrapping, sacks and fabrics. The system identifies substances from comprehensive libraries including explosives and precursors, toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents, narcotics and new psychoactive substances as well as household chemicals.

The previous generation of Raman detectors could not identify samples contained within operationally-relevant thick, opaque or coloured packaging which meant that a container needed to be disturbed so a sample could be collected.

To operate Resolve, the user chooses the container type and the system then determines which measurement mode to use; Through-Barrier, Surface Scan or Vial Holder. According to Cobalt, Through-Barrier measurements take about one minute or less, with no sample preparation or consumables needed. Surface Scan mode is for ‘point-and-shoot’ measurements where there is direct line-of-sight to the sample. Vial Holder mode can be used when a small sample has been taken. The system also has a ‘non-contact’ mode for measuring through barriers without touching the container.

Cobalt’s through-barrier SORS technology is already deployed at airports across the EU, Asia and Australasia as the engine in Cobalt’s Insight range of liquid explosive detection systems.