FOI has Sweden’s leading experts in the field of material and protection against chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) substances. We provide expert support to authorities and other customers. Our activities are focused on three main areas.
Within technical CBR protection we work with:
Detection of chemical and biological substances
Where there is a risk of the spread of hazardous substances there is an urgent need for rapid and reliable alarm systems with low false alarm rates to ensure timely detection and warning. FOI works on both the development of detection instruments and the evaluation of commercial systems. The Swedish Armed Forces and the defence industry are the main customers in this area. FOI also participates in a number of Vinnova and EU-financed projects in this field.
Through the use of physical methods of measurement, often spectroscopic, and mathematical models, it is possible to detect chemical and biological substances both in air and on surfaces. FOI is working continually on the refinement of measurement methods for detection purposes and is building up a toolbox of reference substances.
FOI is alone in Sweden in having laboratories for the handling of hazardous substances and also possesses advanced equipment and exercise areas for large scale field trials.
Physical protection – both collective and personal
FOI has advanced measuring systems to study exposure to hazardous substances with various types of protection, for example filters for buildings and vehicles, protective clothing and masks.
One area in which FOI has long experience is leakage in suits and uniforms; how well they protect against hazardous substances and what their weak points are. FOI has its own programme of research in this area but also conducts tests and evaluations of instruments and equipment on behalf of other stakeholders. FOI also provides expert support for the Swedish Armed Forces in their choice and purchasing of physical protection equipment.
The Swedish Armed Forces are the largest customer in this area but FOI also receives individual assignments from the Defence Materiel Administration FMV, the defence industry and the Swedish Civil Contingencies, Agency MSB.
Decontamination - how clean is clean?
FOI has expertise in the decontamination of chemical and radioactive substances both at laboratory scale and at full scale in the field.
For example, FOI carries out evaluation of decontamination agents and decontamination systems. FOI conducts studies to determine what levels of contamination are acceptable and safe, and how long it takes to achieve an adequate level of cleanliness.
In addition to assignments from the Swedish Armed Forces, FOI also participates in a range of EU projects in this field.