Ahura FirstDefender Handheld Chemical ID System Honored with R&D 100 Award

WILMINGTON, Mass.—Ahura Corporation today announced that the FirstDefender™ handheld chemical identification system has been recognized with a 2006 R&D 100 Award.  Sponsored by R&D Magazine, the R&D 100 Awards honor to the 100 most technologically significant products of the year.  After extensive review by an independent panel of judges, winners were selected based on their importance, uniqueness, usefulness and significance.

Innovation is key to Ahura’s approach to product development.  By understanding customers’ needs and the fundamentals of physics and chemistry, breakthrough products like FirstDefender can be quickly developed and launched into Ahura’s ISO 9001 manufacturing process.  Ahura has filed more than 40 patent applications.

FirstDefender is a rugged, waterproof handheld instrument for the identification of unknown liquids, solids and mixtures.  It is an optical system based on Raman spectroscopy, a proven technique for reliable, lab-based chemical identification.  Using expertise in ultra-compact optics and miniaturization, Ahura has successfully optimized high-resolution Raman spectroscopy for use in the field. 

This instrument is used by military and civilian first responders around the globe for accurate and instant identification of potentially dangerous substances, such as chemical weapons, explosives, toxic industrial materials, hazardous waste and narcotics.  Customers have quickly adopted this technology due to its ease of use and the significant impact it has on reducing threats to public safety.  FirstDefender customers include the Federal Bureau of Investigations, U.S. Army, U.S. Customs and Immigration, Fire Department of New York, City of Seattle Fire Department, Washington D.C. Fire Department, New Jersey State Police and more than 150 other agencies in the United States.

“The development of FirstDefender was a true team effort and we’re proud to be recognized with this award,” said Dr. Daryoosh Vakhshoori, founder and president of Ahura Corporation.  “By incorporating cutting edge thinking in spectroscopy and chemometrics, we were able to solve an unmet need in a revolutionary way.  Most importantly, we’ve developed a product that is having a tremendous positive impact on how first responders work every day.”

FirstDefender has been honored with other prestigious awards for its design, portability, functionality and innovation, including the Industrial Design Society of America Award for Excellence in Industrial Design and the Frost & Sullivan 2006 Chemical Detection Industry Innovation & Advancement of the Year.

The 2006 R&D 100 Awards winners will be honored at the annual black tie awards banquet on Thursday, October 19, 2006, at the Grand Ballroom on Chicago’s Navy Pier.

About Ahura Corporation
Ahura Corporation develops rugged, ultra-compact, field-enabled optical systems for the detection, identification and authentication of unknown and suspect substances. Customers include the homeland security, life sciences, industrial and medical markets.  Manufactured in the USA in an ISO 9001 certified operation, Ahura’s products offer superior performance at competitive prices.  Ahura has been recognized with a number of awards from organizations such as Red Herring, Frost & Sullivan and IDSA. More information at

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