STS SMF3 Whole Body Fluorimeter
The SMF 3 Surface Monitoring Fluorimeter is a whole body dosimeter which is used to study the spreading and penetration characteristics of any hazardous material where quantitative measurements of skin and clothing contamination and absorption are required.
These measurements enable the spreading, accumulation and removal of contamination to be better understood. This in turn allows researchers to develop safer working practices and design more efficient clothing.
There are several applications for the SMF 3 Surface Monitoring Fluorimeter:-
• Studies involving tasks with hazmats and Chemical Warfare Agents
• Improvement in garment design to reduce contamination
• Demonstration of how contamination is acquired
• Studies of the functions of protective clothing and design of donning and doffing procedures
• Penetration studies of garments during use
• Studies of the processes of decontamination on skin and protective clothing
• Comparison of effectiveness of decontamination procedures
• Quantification of training exercise performance
The SMF 3 consists of a man sized dodecahedron of UV lights, a flash gun, a video camera and a sophisticated image processing software package running on a PC.
Fluorescent Chemical Technology used in the SMF3
A fluorescent tracer is added to the material being studied or to a simulant and personnel carry out a set task over a prescribed period. The tracer, which does not alter the physical properties of the material under study and the material move in unison, and a quantitative measurement of the tracer on the clothing or skin can be directly related to the amount of active material present. The SMF 3 Surface Monitoring Fluorimeter measures the selected body surface area in one operation lasting no more than 15 to 20 minutes, or quicker under set conditions.
The personnel to be monitored sit inside a dodecahedron of UV lights which cause the tracer to fluoresce and a video camera equipped with an appropriate filter records the fluorescence. A second image is taken using a high speed flash gun with a special filter.
Image and Data Processing
The two images from the fluorescence measurement are used to resolve the curvature of the surface of the subject. This then allows precise quantitation of the tracer and hence excellent analytical accuracy. Image processing software allows part or all of the area of the image on a PC screen to be selected. This then quantifies the amount of tracer and thus the quantity of the chemical or surrogate on the person. By photographing the operative in several positions the total body contamination may be quantified. Alternatively, selected areas such as the face or hands may be quantified.