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NIST seeks small biz to develop standards and test methods for chemical detectors

Chemical analysts
at work at NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is planning to issue a solicitation for a small business set-aside contract for a company to help develop reference data, standards and test methods to measure the concentration of trace gases in specific environments.

NIST has been funded by DHS to develop such data, standards and test methods in an effort to validate the performance of commercial chemical detectors that use challenge vapor streams containing toxic industrial chemicals.

“The work to be conducted addresses important gaps in the existing capability for chemical detector evaluation and calibration,” says a presolicitation notice published by NIST on Dec. 21, prior to the release of its formal solicitation document, which is expected on or about January 21, 2012. “The contract deliverable is to improve public health and safety through more effective chemical threat detection achieved by accurate and reliable identification of chemical contaminants and the contamination level.”

The presolicitation notice was issued by the combustion and kinetics group within NIST’s chemical and biochemical reference data division.

The selected small business contractor will help develop and disseminate measurement tools intended to improve the accuracy and reliability of various chemical measurements, particularly for toxic industrial chemicals. “Deliverables shall include a method to mathematically evaluate complex infrared spectra for the sample’s chemical constituents and chemical concentrations,” explains the NIST notice. Other deliverables will be real-time analytical methods for verifying relevant challenge streams and draft documentary standards.

NIST envisions a fixed-price base contract of one year, plus two one-year options, says the presolicitation document. “This requirement, when issued, will be set-aside for small businesses only,” it adds.

Further information is available from Cheryl Coxen, a NIST contract specialist, at 301-975-8838 or cheryl.coxen@nist.gov.