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8 Summary of Recommendations After studying and discussing the problem and background, this committee makes the following recommendations: A detailed protocol for testing and evaluating passive standoff detectors is recommended that recognizes the importance of the highly variable background in which such detectors will be employed. Simulants are used to provide validation of the transfer of the signal-processing model from chamber to field. This gives a high degree of confidence that a similar model for chemical warfare agents (CWAs), developed with only laboratory testing of CWAs, will transfer from chamber to field. Application environments for the detector are defined in the proposed test protocol. A different protocol is recommended for the testing and evaluation of active standoff detectors. This test protocol will be used to validate a model for the measurement and detection of CWAs in the field. The model will be based on measurements and understanding of background, simulants, interferents, and concomitants as well as characteristics of the instrumentation. Validation of the model with simulants in the laboratory and field along with laboratory validation with CWAs will provide a high degree of confidence in the ability of the instrument to detect CWAs in the field under battlefield or homeland security conditions. Limitation of application environments for these detectors will be predicted using the validated model. Detection sensitivity for the CWAs as a function of environmental factors in the model, such as levels of fog, dust, etc., can be predicted for the model and define the applicability limits of the detector. It is recommended that algorithm development be a multigroup effort that will result in robust, upgradeable, transferable software that will utilize multiple differentiated chemometric approaches to the problem. Robust algorithms are an essential element in the success of these detectors. This effort
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should ensure not only that the algorithms are effective but also that they can be modified as necessary by software experts in different locations as needed for the application. It is recommended that decision and risk training in the context of these standoff detectors be given to personnel who will be associated with the operation, use, and analysis of information generated by the standoff detectors in the field. Testing CWAs in the field is not recommended. With the rigorous protocols given in this report, the added value of information from such tests, recognizing that they would be limited in number, would not provide a significant improvement in the confidence level about instrument performance. While the focus of this study was the testing and evaluation of standoff detectors for military applications, the protocols established and described may have applicability to the broader use of such detectors in areas such as homeland defense, for example. Such applications would require more knowledge of deployment strategies for detectors in such applications and tailoring of the recommended protocols for these different scenarios.
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