Market Profile: FT-IR for Security Applications

September 1, 2007
Spectroscopy

Volume 22, Issue 9

While Fourier transform–infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is commonly thought of as a laboratory analytical technique for which annual demand tops $200 million worldwide, it is also becoming an important technique in the post-9/11 era of heightened security measures. FT-IR has several advantages over dispersive infrared that make it highly advantageous for most security applications. There are a fair number of application areas for FT-IR within the security instrumentation market.

While Fourier transform–infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is commonly thought of as a laboratory analytical technique for which annual demand tops $200 million worldwide, it is also becoming an important technique in the post-9/11 era of heightened security measures. FT-IR has several advantages over dispersive infrared that make it highly advantageous for most security applications. There are a fair number of application areas for FT-IR within the security instrumentation market.

An FT-IR instrument has only a single moving part, which makes it an inherently simpler and more reliable instrument, which comes in particularly useful for in-field, handheld, and vehicle-mounted instrumentation. The configuration of an FT-IR instrument also allows for internal calibration with each measurement and provides for a much more rapid analysis with higher sensitivity than a typical dispersive infrared instrument.

2007 FT–IR Security Application Demand ($26M)

Military applications are by far the largest area of application in the security market for FT-IR instrumentation. The ruggedness of the systems and the ability to provide open path detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and other toxic chemicals hundreds or even thousands of meters away from the instrument make them ideal for military applications, and they are now regularly found installed on vehicles, including tanks. FT-IR systems that can identify hundreds or even thousands of hazardous or toxic gases can now be built into portable, briefcase-sized systems that are useful for first responders including police, firefighters, and paramedics, as well as for various transportation and shipping security applications.

The market for FT-IR–based security instrumentation is estimated to be worth $25 million to $30 million in 2007. Smiths Detection and Bruker Daltonics are the two leading vendors in this market, although General Dynamics, Edo, and Thermo Electron are also significant competitors.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report entitled Analytical Instrumentation for Security Applications, May 2006. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Senior Consultant, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, www.strategic-directions.com.