Modernization of the Vapor Card of the current M256A2 Chemical Detection Kit

State: Virginia
Level of Government: Federal
  • 66 - Instruments and Laboratory Equipment
Opps ID: NBD00159471253156870
Posted Date: Dec 5, 2023
Due Date: Dec 22, 2023
Source: Members Only
Modernization of the Vapor Card of the current M256A2 Chemical Detection Kit
Contract Opportunity
Notice ID
Related Notice
Department/Ind. Agency
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General Information
  • Contract Opportunity Type: Sources Sought (Original)
  • All Dates/Times are: (UTC-05:00) EASTERN STANDARD TIME, NEW YORK, USA
  • Original Published Date: Dec 05, 2023 01:16 pm EST
  • Original Response Date: Dec 22, 2023 12:00 pm EST
  • Inactive Policy: 15 days after response date
  • Original Inactive Date: Jan 06, 2024
  • Initiative:
    • None
  • Original Set Aside:
  • Product Service Code:
  • NAICS Code:
  • Place of Performance:
    Fort Belvoir , VA 22060

***Please see the attached Request for Information (RFI) for requested information and response instructions.***

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Research and Development, Chemical and Biological Technologies directorate (DTRA RD-CB) in support of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) is seeking information from respondents who possess low- to no-power chemical detection technologies capable of screening for low level vapor concentrations of multiple chemicals with a single sample. This must include Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs): blood, blister, nerve, and choking classes. Further interest in capabilities for detection of: Riot Control Agents (RCAs), Non-Traditional Agents (NTAs), Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC), and Pharmaceutical Based Agents (PBAs), and aerosolized chemical agents are welcome, but not required.

The detection technology should be a novel approach to provide a non-technical military user with the capability to rapidly assess the environment for a potential inhalational hazard to inform decisions regarding the operational reduction of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These devices will support military operations for the Department of Defense and other government interests through incorporation into a detection toolkit to provide indication of various chemical hazards. The detection technologies are expected to need additional S&T development before advanced development. Each sensor capability must:

  • Required Functionalities

    • easy to use with minimal steps and simple interpretation of results

    • rapid (
    • detection of low concentrations of CWA vapor (Nerve agents: less than 0.005 mg/m3, Blister agents: less than 2.0 mg/m3 and Choking and Blood agents: less than 8.0 mg/m3)

  • Key System Attributes

    • Remain stable for storage at room temperature for a minimum of 3 years

    • Reject interferents and detect in complex backgrounds

    • Provide at minimum class-based detection of agent (e.g., G, V, L, A, or H)

    • Be simple to use with less than 1 hour of training

    • Be readable with minimal to no accessories need for the interpretation

    • Have low false alarm rate

    • Require little or no battery power

    • Detect in 10 minutes or less; 5 minutes or less desired

    • Be smaller than 4 in X 3 in X 1 in

    • Weigh less than 8 oz.

    • Be low cost when purchased in quantity: goal of $25 or less for a single test

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY to identify sources that can provide low size, weight, power, and cost chemical detection. The information provided in the RFI is subject to change and is not binding on the Government. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency has not made a commitment to procure any of the items discussed, and release of this RFI should not be construed as such a commitment or as authorization to incur cost for which reimbursement would be required or sought. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned. Respondents shall provide a brief description on how they plan to develop or advance existing technologies/sensing materials for the identified applications as well as any anticipated technical parameters of their product (or conceptual product). Validation can include historical, literature data or relationship with current DOD researchers. Validation can also include investment from interagency past programs.

Summary of Capability Information Sought:

  1. Description of the detection technology and methodology

  2. Expected shelf life (packaged and following continued development)

  3. Provide projected information on form factor, detection time, and chemicals detected

  4. Detection limits currently achieved and anticipated lowest detection for chemicals of concern

  5. Estimated unit cost (assume quantity buys from 100,000 – 500,000 units to support estimate)

  6. Ability for scale-up and manufacturability.

BACKGROUND: The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks to modernize the vapor card of the current M256A2 chemical detection kit. The DoD is pursuing modernization efforts with novel technologies that will meet the utility of the original kit, while simultaneously providing enhanced and expanded capability, improved sensitivity, reduced false alarm rate, and increased ease of use. The M256 kit was first fielded in 1974, and since issued to every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman, with three key chemical detection components: M8, M9, and the vapor card.

  • M8 paper is designed for the detection of liquid chemical warfare agents on surfaces and provides an eye readable color change.

  • M9 tape is used by the warfighter, to indicate a color change if the tape comes in contact with liquid droplets of chemical agent.

  • The vapor detector, the focus of this RFI, is used for detection of CWA vapors, at low levels, to inform reduction in protective posture, to include removal of masks and other personal protective equipment.

The goal of this effort is to enhance and expand detection capability for the joint forces while simultaneously improving ease of use by leverage technological advancements that have occurred since the fielding of the M256 kit in 1974.

Contact Information
Contracting Office Address
  • FORT BELVOIR , VA 22060-6201
  • USA
Primary Point of Contact
Secondary Point of Contact
  • Dec 05, 2023 01:16 pm ESTSources Sought (Original)


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