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.