NFSTC scientists regularly evaluate tools and technology for the forensic community. Results are shared as evaluation reports, scientific posters, handouts and additional study materials. The NFSTC Technology Evaluations poster presented at the 2010 National Institute of Justice conference provides additional detail about the program.
To fully evaluate the performance of a given technology, NFSTC assesses performance in areas such as:
- Conformity – the ability to accurately identify known controlled substance standards
- Reproducibility – known samples are tested multiple times to determine the reliability of the instrument
- Sensitivity – standard mixtures of controlled substances are tested with decreasing content ratios to determine the sensitivity of the device
- Specificity – cutting agents, non-controlled substances and training samples that are similar in nature to substances of interest are examined/analyzed to determine if the instrument produces false positives or false negatives
- Maintenance – the amount of maintenance or troubleshooting the instrument requires during normal use is assessed
- Portability – the instrument is tested in a variety of environmental conditions to confirm ruggedness and portability
- Samples – the amount of preparation required for test samples; whether it is destructive/non-destructive; the purity required; and the extensiveness of the preparation required
To download evaluation reports and other information, click on the category links below. (Adobe Reader is required to view the documents. To download the free Reader, click here.)
NOTE: NFSTC’s technology evaluations are objective assessments and are not to be construed or used as endorsement, recommendation or approval of the technology. All equipment model numbers, specifications and prices were current at the time of the evaluation and are subject to change without notice or revision.