GE releases new handheld chemical substance detector

GE Security, a business of GE Enterprise Solutions, announced last week that its Homeland Protection business has introduced StreetLab Mobile, its next generation, point-and-shoot handheld unknown substance identification system. The Raman Spectroscopy-based device’s chemical substance identification capability is expected to be complemented soon by the addition of biological substance identification capability. The biological identification upgrade is expected to make StreetLab Mobile the first combined chem-bio detector.

StreetLab Mobile is a portable, user-friendly handheld device that will be able to reliably identify a broad range of chemical and biological substances in liquid, powder and solid forms when later completed with the bio component. Using Raman Spectroscopy for data capture and analysis, StreetLab Mobile consumes little or no substance sample and makes it easy for the operator to understand and share results. The handheld unit uses extended-range wireless technology to allow first responders to quickly deliver accurate results from the field to tactical commanders at remote command centers.

"With the introduction of StreetLab Mobile, GE Security now offers emergency responders a handheld solution that can deliver fast, accurate identification results straight from the hot zone for a growing library of substances," said Dennis Cooke, president and CEO, GE Security’s Homeland Protection business. "StreetLab Mobile was developed based on significant input from first responders and is designed to help them better protect their communities."

"First responders need convenient, easy-to-use, real time identification capabilities at hand on the scene when dealing with chemical and biological emergencies," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst David Fishering. "StreetLab Mobile can be on the scene with first responders giving them the information they can use to assess, react and respond to an emergency in a matter of seconds."

The StreetLab Mobile chemical identification unit is available for customer orders now. These units will be easily upgradeable to dual mode versions when the biological substance detection capability becomes available later this year.

StreetLab Mobile is presently capable of identifying more than one thousand potentially dangerous chemicals, including toxic industrial substances such as formaldehyde and liquid and solid explosives, as well as the chemical components of common explosives. It can also identify chemicals such as Cresol and Benzene, exposure to which can have serious health consequences. It is expected that StreetLab Mobile will be able to recognize many biological substances when the bio component becomes available.

Utilizing Raman Spectroscopy, StreetLab Mobile identifies substances based on their molecular structure. Raman technology works by analyzing the interactions of light with the sample’s chemical bonds, allowing a sample to be analyzed without being consumed or destroyed in most cases.

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