Military - Simple sampler


Soldiers encountering potentially toxic compounds in Iraq will soon be able to identify the substance in mere minutes because of a probe developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The proprietary device consists of a stainless steel rod and extractor with a tip attached to the end. The soldier simply touches the tip to the liquid surface and the liquid is drawn by capillary action into the porous tip, where it is held until it is vaporized near the ground probe head. The liquid vapor then travels through the ground probe membrane and is analyzed by the mass spectrometer (MM1) aboard the FOX vehicles. The probe controls the amount of sample offered to the MM1, preventing sample overloading and resulting in a much more confident identification. When the analysis is complete, the operator merely ejects the tip into the sample, thereby minimizing exposure and waste. The toxic industrial compounds application probe, dubbed TAP, was developed by Rob Smith and Cyril Thompson of ORNL's Chemical Sciences Division. The project is funded by the Department of Defense.

 -  Ron Walli,  865.576.0226,  November 04, 2005

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