CW Indicating Chromophore for Decontamination Operations
Agency / Branch:
DOD / CBD
In Phase I, Nomadics demonstrated that a novel chemical weapon indicating chromophore (CWIC) developed by Professor Tim Swager at MIT will allow equipment to be quickly and easily examined to show any areas of contamination, making targeted decontamination manageable. When exposed to CW agent simulants, CWICs react to become fluorescent under UV stimulation. In the first phase, we implemented a system employing CWICs to indicate whether an area is contaminated by chemical agents. Tests conducted on military-type assets proved the feasibility of this approach. In Phase II, we will extend the research to enhance sensitivity and to optimize the process to support military operations and to reduce risks to the environment, the public, and allied warfighters. An especially important feature of these chromophores is that they have been shown to be responsive only to chemicals that are in fact hazardous even if they are not typically considered CW agents. Similarly, because the CWICs respond only to reactive materials, they are not subject to interference even from compounds that normally serve as surrogates for CW agents. Thus, the proposed work should lead to development of an effective system for assessing CW agent contamination.
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