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Battelle REBS™ 

Battelle REBS (Resource Effective Bioidentification System) is a major advance in chemical and biological warfare-agent collection and identification. 


Because the chemical and biological threats to national and global security persist and continue to evolve, new tools are needed to detect, assess and counter those threats.  

Learn more about Battelle’s accurate, agile and exceptionally economical chem-bio identification solutions.
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REBS enhances the safety of warfighters and civilians alike in applications including: 

Defense & Security
The broadest range of Battelle products and services is devoted to defense and security, with the goal of keeping our military, our homeland security forces and our nation safe. REBS offers sensitive detection and fast, accurate identification of more than 100 BWAs. Battelle has been at the forefront of autonomous chem-bio detection and identification since the start. We pioneered the first system two decades ago. Since then, we have been developing ever-more sensitive, specific, efficient and economical ways of achieving these goals. 

Broad-scale early warning of chem-bio threats requires advanced capabilities for gathering, analyzing and interpreting data. And that adds additional prerequisites to the equation. REBS is up to the task. First, it employs non-destructive analysis techniques. This, along with automatic data archiving, means that the samples it collects can be further analyzed down the road in support of attribution and medical diagnostic efforts. These capabilities make REBS perfect for seamless integration into high-level biosurveillance operations for confirmatory, diagnostic and attribution analyses.  

Facility Protection
As 9/11 demonstrated, our homeland and major buildings within our borders are susceptible to attacks – including attacks using the same chemical and biological warfare agents that threaten our warfighters. Battelle’s chem-bio detection and identification technologies represent potential solutions to building threats as well. To make this solution even more cost effective, we are working with the nation’s leading providers of building-security and HVAC systems to integrate REBS capabilities into existing infrastructures. We are also developing REBS technology for government and commercial applications, coupling its capabilities with other important advances. 

REBS technology in use



With a purchase price comparable to units using older technologies, the highly portable REBS is easy to set up, operate and maintain. It’s a ruggedized, battery-powered system capable of continuous, autonomous operation in missions lasting up to 18 hours.  

REBS offers: 

  • Freedom from the expense of reagents and the special handling they require 
  • Freedom from the need for laboratory support 
  • A consumable cost of about $20 per month per system 
  • Analysis costs of less than 4 cents per sample 
  • Operating costs of about $1 a day 

Uniquely combining optical-laser technology with Battelle-patented aerosol collection and Raman spectroscopy, REBS automatically and continuously collects samples for autonomous analysis – threats ranging from bacteria, viruses and toxins to mixed threats and aerosolized chemicals.  

REBS technology: 

  • Demonstrates a low false alarm rate in virtually any environment 
  • Offers greater than 98 percent probability of agent ID, and sensitivity of under 25 ACPLA (agent containing particles per liter of air) 
  • Has been demonstrated in multiple government and independent trials -- including an extended operation in the Boston subway, in cooperation with JPM-CA, where live-agent testing was conducted   

REBS offers sample compatibility with genetic confirmation methods providing:  

  • Speed and cost-efficiency far superior to those of PCR/DNA technologies 
  • Guidance even for medical personnel who prefer to wait for PCR/DNA confirmation 
  • Early warning to help personnel prepare to deliver treatment as soon as confirmation arrives 

REBS is capable of identifying scores of airborne threats in 15 minutes or less, and offers an optional liquid-sample processing mode.  

REBS is agile enough to: 

  • Serve in fixed-site and mobile applications 
  • Accommodate remote addition of new threats via simple software updates available within 24 hours of new-sample analysis 
  • Serve as a single-point ID device or as one of up to 255 systems networked to a single command post 
  • Provide non-destructive analysis, automatic archiving and seamless integration into high-level biosurveillance operations 

REBS technology in use



Whether the application is defense and security, biosurveillance, facility protection or manufacturing production, REBS provides exceptionally low operating cost, high sensitivity and superior accuracy in the detection, identification and enumeration of biological threats.

infographic showing how REBS works