The Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) has continued development through 2002. The JCAD has completed Contractor Validation Testing (CVT) that included chemical warfare agent testing, environmental testing, electromagnetic interferent testing, and platform integration validation. The JCAD provides state of the art chemical warfare agent detection capability to military and homeland security operators. Intelligence sources estimate that over twenty countries have active chemical weapons programs. The spread of weapons of mass destruction (and the industrial capability for manufacture of these weapons) to third world nations and terrorist organizations has greatly increased the chemical agent threat to U.S. interests. Coupled with the potential for U.S. involvement in localized conflicts in an operational or support capacity, increases the probability that the military Joint Services may encounter chemical agents anywhere in the world. The JCAD is a small (45 in3), lightweight (2 lb.) chemical agent detector for vehicle interiors, aircraft, individual personnel, shipboard, and fixed site locations. The system provides a common detection component across multi-service platforms. This common detector system will allow the Joint Services to use the same operational and support concept for more efficient utilization of resources. The JCAD detects, identifies, quantifies, and warns of the presence of chemical agents prior to onset of miosis. Upon detection of chemical agents, the detector provides local and remote audible and visual alarms to the operators. Advance warning will provide the vehicle crew and other personnel in the local area with the time necessary to protect themselves from the lethal effects of chemical agents. The JCAD is capable of being upgraded to protect against future chemical agent threats. The JCAD provides the operator with the warning necessary to survive and fight in a chemical warfare agent threat environment.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.