July 11, 2006 06:13 ET

U.S. Army Evaluation Report of Ahura's FirstDefender Handheld Chemical Identification System Available Online

WILMINGTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 11, 2006 -- Ahura Corporation, award-winning manufacturer of handheld instruments for chemical identification, announced independent testing of the FirstDefender™ by the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC). The full test results are available from the ECBC website:

The award-winning FirstDefender Handheld Chemical Identification System is a rugged, waterproof handheld instrument for the identification of unknown liquids and solids. It is used by military and civilian first responders around the globe for accurate and instant identification of potentially dangerous substances, including chemical weapons, explosives, toxic substances, hazardous waste and narcotics. FirstDefender delivers reliable results in all weather conditions and environments.

"The handheld Raman spectrometer for point detection of chemicals developed by Ahura Corporation was tested using chemical warfare agents (CWAs). The device was assessed for its capacity to detect and identify liquid through sealed glass containers in a completely non-contact, non-destructive manner. The CWAs tested included the following: mustard (HD), nitrogen mustard (HN1 and HN3), VX, tabun (GA), sarin (GB), and lewisite (L). Detection characteristics were examined for neat agents, as well as detection in the presence of interferences (JP8 jet fuel, aqueous film forming foam, Windex, and floor wax) at various concentrations." -- ECBC Website

The FirstDefender is reliable and quick at identifying chemical warfare agents where deliberate attempts were made to create interference in the identification process. These situations include identifying CWAs through containers and as individual components of mixtures with common chemicals that interfere with other instrumentation in the market.

The test results must show successful testing on chemical weapon agents in both neat form and mixed with AFFF, Windex, Diesel fuel, and Floor wax. This testing demonstrates the viability for successful use of the instrument in the field.

"The results of the U.S. Army's independent evaluation further validate the benefit FirstDefender brings to our customers on the front line," said Douglas Kahn, CEO at Ahura Corporation. "As we expected, the system performed exceptionally well against a battery of difficult tests."

The report summary states, "Given the range of operating characteristics in which this device can successfully operate, the self-contained non-contact/non-destructive nature of the system, and the CW detection performance tested; the FirstDefender can be suitable for (non-trace) field detection and identification of liquid that may contain CW agents."

FirstDefender is deployed across many federal agencies including the U.S. Army, U.S. Customs and Immigration, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Hazmat teams across the country ranging from Fire Department of New York, Washington DC, Orlando and Seattle are actively using it. It is being used by law enforcement from the State Police of New Jersey to the Los Angeles Police Department. Dozens of other cities, counties and state agencies are using FirstDefender because of its accuracy, usability and low price. It is available via federal and state grants, New York State HIRE contract and through the GSA schedule.

About Ahura Corporation

Ahura Corporation develops rugged, innovative, ultra-compact, field-enabled optical systems for the detection, identification and authentication of unknown and suspect substances. Customers include the homeland security, life sciences, industrial and medical markets. Manufactured in the USA in an ISO 9001 certified operation, Ahura's products offer superior performance at competitive prices. Ahura has been recognized with a number of awards, including awards from Red Herring, Frost & Sullivan and IDSA. More information at

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