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Ahura Releases Next Generation Raman Spectrometers for Security Applications

Ahura Scientific, Inc., the leader in field-deployed analytical instruments for human health and public safety, today announced the release of its next generation Raman platform for safety and security applications. Designed for the rapid identification of unknown solids and liquids, FirstDefender® RM and FirstDefender RMX build on the success of the flagship FirstDefender to deliver advanced new features and capabilities.

Ahura Scientific revolutionized the chemical identification market with the launch of FirstDefender in 2005 and now reinforces that leadership with instruments that are up to five times faster and significantly smaller and lighter than their market-leading predecessor. Both FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX will be on display at the upcoming PITTCON Conference & Exposition taking place on March 1 – March 4 in Orlando, Florida.

FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX are rugged handheld Raman spectrometers for use by first responders, homeland security, military, law enforcement and forensic chemistry personnel. The instruments allow users to quickly identify unknown chemicals from a vast sample library of more than 10,000 pure substances including: explosives, toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), toxic industrial materials (TIMs), chemical warfare agents (CWAs), white powders, narcotics, precursors and more. Ahura Scientific’s advanced chemometric algorithms enable automatic mixture analysis with every scan and ensure responders can be confident in the accuracy and reliability of results. Both instruments are certified to U.S. military’s MIL-STD 810F specifications for ruggedness including drop, shock, vibration and operation in extreme temperatures.

Details on the two new instruments include:

  • FirstDefender RM

    FirstDefender RM is the next generation Raman device for military and civilian first responders. Weighing 1.8 pounds (800 g), the instrument is five times faster, 50 percent lighter and 40 percent smaller than the original FirstDefender, yet houses an extensive library of more than 10,000 chemicals. FirstDefender RM can be used in point-and-shoot mode or via the integrated vial holder. Specific new features in FirstDefender RM include improved detectors and electronics, advanced power options as well as new additions to the enhanced user interface, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hazard diamond, spectrum overlay for comparing scanned materials to library items of interest and tabbed library for easier navigation.

  • FirstDefender RMX
    Using the same platform as FirstDefender RM, FirstDefender RMX extends the point-and-shoot capability with a permanent fixed probe. Weighing 2 pounds (919 grams), the instrument can be operated in handheld mode or can be attached to the gripper arm of a tactical robot and connected via an RS232 port. This enables remote operation to provide users with the ability to execute their response missions with a greater level of safety. Currently Ahura Scientific is partnering with several robot manufactures including QinetiQ North America and iRobot Corporation.

Like FirstDefender RM, FirstDefender RMX is also faster, lighter and smaller than its predecessor while still featuring a library of more than 10,000 pure chemicals. The instrument also includes improved detectors and electronics, advanced power options and the same additions to the enhanced user interface.

“Groups such as homeland security, law enforcement and the military require instruments that combine speed and portability with the ability to deliver accurate results to diffuse potentially life threatening situations,” said Doug Kahn, chairman and CEO of Ahura Scientific. “The addition of this elite line of instruments to the FirstDefender product line complements our current offering and helps us continue to meet the varying needs of our users.”

Ahura Scientific’s chemical and explosives identification products are deployed worldwide by U.S. and foreign military organizations as well as national and regional law enforcement agencies and hazmat teams. The company’s Raman and FTIR products offer comprehensive solutions for field-based identification of solid and liquid chemicals.


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