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FBI Explosive Unit Award to Agilent

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced intentions to negotiate a sole source contract with Agilent Technologies to support the FBI explosive Unit (EU) joint improvised explosives research effort with the Department of Homeland Security.

The EU’s overall goal of the research is to thoroughly characterize synthesized explosive materials. This includes measuring the optical properties of the materials, which not only round out the full molecular characterization of a material, but provide information essential for development of standoff detection technologies.

The contract is for two Cary 5000 UV-Vis-NIR Spectrophotometers. System characteristics include:

  • Measures the sample absorbance in both diffuse reflectance and transmission modes
  • Allows analysis of liquid and solid samples using the appropriate accessories
  • Wavelength range of 175-3300nm
  • Uses a double out-of-plane Littrow monochromator
  • Rotating beam splitter which measures a sample, dark, and reference signal per cycle with a speed of 30Hz
  • Covers the specified wavelength range sufficiently with no more than two detectors; Photomultiplier tube for UV-Vis and a cooled PbS detector for NIR
  • Limiting resolution of less than 0.048nm UV-Vis and 0.2nm NIR
  • Wavelength accuracy measured by lamp lines of ±0.08nm in the range 190-900nm and ±0.4nm in the range 760-3000nm;
  • High wavelength reproducibility demonstrated by peak separation of less than 0.025nm of repetitive screening of a UV-V is line source and less than 0.1nm for a NIR line source
  • Standard deviation of less than 0.005nm, UV-Vis and 0.02nm NIR for 10 measurements of a repetitive scanning
  • High photometric accuracy demonstrated by less than 0.000025 ABd using the double aperture method at 0.3 Abs for UV-Vis
  • Photometric range of 8 Abs with RBA
  • Large sample compartment at least 160 x 433 x 221nm in size with beam separation of at least 190.5nm and access from the top, front, and base
  • No more than 1020x710x380 mm in size not including attachments
  • Spectral bandwidth of at least 0.01nm and at most 5nm in the UV-Vis at a minimum of 0.01nm steps and at least 0.04nm and at most 20nm for NIR
  • Able to signal average between 0.033 to 999s
  • Scan rate equal to or more than 2000nm/min in the UV-Vis and 8000nm/min in the NIR
  • Able purge both the sample compartment and optics separately
  • Includes an attachment to measure reflectance of a solid material mounted horizontally without purchasing additional detectors

“A high resolution, wide range spectrophotometer, such as an Ultraviolet Visible Near Infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) spectrophotometer is the only way to accurately and precisely measure the optical properties,” states the announcement. “The FBI must have the ability to directly and accurately measure the UV-Vis-NIR properties of an explosive formulation. In order to accomplish this requirement and to properly measure this essential parameter, the Agilent Technologies Cary 5000 UV-Vis-NIR is the only spectrophotometer that will meet all of the FBI requirements.”

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