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Evaluation of a Trans-Portable Gas Chromatographic Mass Spectrometer

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Technical Report,01 May 2017,31 Oct 2019

Corporate Author:

711 Human Performance Wing, Airman Systems Directorate Wright-Patterson AFB

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For all branches of the military, field-surveillance of toxic compounds is mission critical. To fulfill this requirement, equipment is needed that can provide sensitive and robust identification and quantification of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. The HAPSITE-ER HER is a human-portable gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer GC-MS currently employed by USAF for that purpose. Its current iteration was initially released in 2008. The work described herein is the evaluation of a newer, transportable GC-MS that has the potential to deliver laboratory performance from a fielded instrument. Replacement of the HER would require equipment that is easily field deployable. Therefore it is critical that equipment is chosen that is rugged enough to be subjected to transport, maintains a stable calibration between uses, and is self-contained. The candidate instrument is Griffin 460465 hereafter Griffin FLIR Systems, a ruggedized transportable unit. The Griffin has many of the same features as the HER, which includes continuous monitoring probe thermal desorption TD headspace and SPME while also providing for direct liquid injection of samples as well as limited tandem mass-spectrometry. This study evaluated the Griffin principally for TD applications. Despite the additional capabilities offered by the Griffin, flaws were observed in some of the more fundamental operations of this instrument that would preclude its use as a fielded instrument for the U.S. military. Specifically, our data suggests that the mass spectrum generated during analysis is of questionable fidelity and reproducibility while introduction of samples via TD functioned properly, at best, on a sporadic basis. Significant and numerous inquiries made to the manufacturer failed to provide resolution to the observed malfunctions.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Air Pollution and Control

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