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FirstDefender RM and RMX Bring the Laboratory to the Field

FirstDefender RM and RMX Bring the Laboratory to the Field
By: Gaby Berkman

Military and civilian first responders can identify unknown chemicals, explosives and toxic materials using these two powerful, lightweight, handheld instruments from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX bring the laboratory to the field, enabling first responders and military personnel to perform rapid, safe and accurate identification of unknown chemicals in a matter of seconds.

What’s more, these two instruments can perform enhanced chemical analysis with the new Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RM/RMX 4.1 software upgrade, which enables a user to carry out enhanced identification for key substances of interest, such as solid and liquid chemicals down range, as explosives, toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), chemical warfare agents (CWAs), narcotics, precursors, white powders and more.

In short, the most recent software upgrades include “tagging”—a feature that allows users to prioritize the chemicals of greatest concern. Tagging instructs the instrument to perform focused analysis on select substances, while—simultaneously—maintaining a broad identification capability of more than 11,600 chemicals. Items can be tagged directly on the device, no additional software is needed and—beyond that—a user can alter the tag list based upon the type of mission or additional response information available.

Once created, the tag list can be seamlessly transferred from one device to another, so that all team members can have access to the lists for their own reference. The FirstDefender RM/RMX 4.1 software update also brings the tagging feature to global customers through Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Russian language configurations, enhancing the capability for responders worldwide.

A Laboratory in the Field

FirstDefender analyzers are based on Raman spectroscopy, a laboratory-proven technique that enables users to identify unknown chemicals without direct contact. As an optical technique, Raman analyses can be conducted through sealed glass or plastic containers, increasing responder safety. Laboratories have used Raman identification techniques for decades and it is now widely deployed for safety and security applications.

The FirstDefender instruments are designed for use by first responders, homeland security, law enforcement, and forensic chemistry personnel. In addition to the tagging feature, improvements include faster mixture analysis and improved user interface. The FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX units weigh in at—respectively—1.8 pounds (800g) and 2 pounds (919 grams) or less and have vivid, large-screen displays for ease of use in bulky protective gear.

In summary, the Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX analyzers bring the laboratory to the field, enabling users to perform portable chemical analysis quickly and accurately, especially in environments where speed, accuracy and safety are of the utmost importance.

Gaby Berkman is the Account Executive of Greenough for Thermo Fisher Scientific. She can be reached at

Published in Law and Order, Sep 2013

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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