Market Profile: Mass Spectrometry in Security Applications

May 1, 2006
Spectroscopy

Volume 21, Issue 5

While mass spectrometry has long been a high-powered and expensive analytical technique for laboratory, improved technical development, combined with post-9/11 demand for advanced security technologies, is leading to the development of the market for mass spectrometry in security applications.

While mass spectrometry has long been a high-powered and expensive analytical technique for the laboratory, improved technological development, combined with post-9/11 demand for advanced security technologies, is leading to the development of the market for mass spectrometry in security applications. Mass spectrometer configurations for security applications vary substantially, and are somewhat dependent upon the specific security applications for which they are needed.

Worldwide sales of mass spectrometry for security applications

The most common area of use for mass spectrometry in security applications traditionally has been in the military, which has long had a need to be able to detect chemical and biological weapons agents (CWA and BWA) in the field. In the civilian sector, there has been a dramatic rise in demand for mass spectrometry since 9/11 for first responders and various government agencies in order to protect the general population against CWA and BWA attacks. These agencies now have extensive funding for the development and purchase of security instrumentation that was nearly nonexistent before. Mass spectrometry also is beginning to enter into the airport security market, where explosives detection is the primary need.

Until recently, the few mass spectrometers designed specifically for security applications until recently have tended to be rather large and bulky. Recent technological advancements are bringing down their size rapidly, allowing them to fit better in military vehicles and ships, as well as allowing for truly man-portable systems. Traditional laboratory benchtop instruments are now being employed in laboratories specifically for CWA and BWA research and analysis. Specialized benchtop, mobile, and portal mass spectrometry configurations are now on the market for airport security applications.

The worldwide market for mass spectrometry in security applications is estimated at about $40 million in 2005, and is expected to see strong double-digit growth to reach a $100 million market by 2010.

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.