SOURCE: Ahura Corporation

August 08, 2005 05:05 ET

Ahura Receives Prestigious Homeland Security Award From Frost and Sullivan

First Defender Rugged Handheld Chemical Identification System Optimized to Meet the Needs of First Responders

WILMINGTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 8, 2005 -- Frost & Sullivan has awarded Ahura Corporation the 2005 Product Innovation Award for Homeland Security Technologies in recognition of the company's development of the innovative First Defender handheld Raman instrument. The First Defender is a rugged handheld instrument for the instantaneous identification of unknown liquids and solids including toxic industrial chemicals, explosives, chemical warfare agents, and narcotics. The First Defender is designed to the rigorous requirements of the military and optimized to the needs of civilian first responders. It is entirely self-contained, rugged, lightweight, and easy to use. It is the only truly handheld and rugged instrument for on-site identification of unknown solids and liquids by first responders.

"Frost & Sullivan recognizes Ahura Corporation with this product innovation award. The First Defender is a truly sophisticated instrument that advances analytical tools available to first responders. We are impressed with the depth and breadth of Ahura's capabilities," said Girish Solanki, Manager of Best Practices at Frost & Sullivan. "Ahura has leveraged its expertise in developing miniature optical subsystems and integrated them into a rugged, waterproof self-contained instrument weighing less than 4 pounds. Beyond the innovative hardware, the company's software algorithms accurately identify unknown substances from a vast internal database of chemical signatures within a matter of seconds."

Raman spectroscopy is ideal for these applications because it can identify substances through glass or plastic, therefore the First Defender can be used by first responders to check unknowns that have been collected and triple-bagged in the hot zone for identification in the warm zone, without exposing the instrument or its operator to the substance. In fact, the First Defender can be used in the hot zone and easily de-contaminated with a bleach solution.

Since being launched, the First Defender has received a warm response from industry, and has been shipped to numerous federal, state and local first responder teams across the United States to support a wide variety of tactical homeland security operations, including Hazmat incidents, the investigation of toxic chemicals and chemical weapons, custom and border crossing support, forensics, and white powder-type scares.

Ahura Corporation has developed breakthrough technology in ultra-compact optical systems and is leading the realization of portable optical solutions for homeland security, life sciences, industrial, and communications markets. Ahura's "optical engine" technology offers superior performance at disruptive prices. The company is collaborating with OEM customers and government agencies on medical, industrial and security applications. More information is available at

The Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technologies within their industry. Recipients have shown innovation by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies. In choosing the recipient of this award, the analyst team tracks all new product launches, R&D spending, products in development, and new product features and modifications. All new products are compared and evaluated based on degree of innovation and customer satisfaction. Companies are then ranked. The recipient of this award has excelled based on one or more of the following criteria:

--  Significance of new product(s) in their industry
--  Competitive advantage of new product(s) in the industry
--  Product innovation in terms of unique or revolutionary technology
--  Product acceptance in the marketplace
--  New product value-added services provided to customers

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