Air sampler detects biological threats, indoors or out
To help government agencies combat bioterrorism, an environmental monitor was recently unveiled by Thermo Electron Corp., based in East Greenbush, NY. Called Airborne Sample Analysis Platform (ASAP), the monitor aids in the detection of anthrax, smallpox, and other biological threats that can endanger public health. By using ASAP to collect airborne particles for analysis, authorities also gain ammunition to stop the spread of communicable infections and diseases such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the Avian Flu. Ideal for indoor or outdoor sites, the monitor collects airborne particles on cartridges for subsequent analysis in a laboratory. Each cartridge includes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that automatically records chain-of-custody information about the sampler and individuals involved with handling cartridges. An Ethernet port lets users retrieve data and control the system both remotely and in real time through hardwired or wireless networks. Options range from a global positioning system (GPS) to wind sensors.