Technology evaluation efforts are important for real-time measurement systems.
Technology evaluation refers to all activities required to document technology performance and/or fine tune technology standard operating procedures so that they are optimal for a specific site. Technology evaluation can include everything from literature reviews, to discussions with vendors and service providers, to off-site bench-scale testing (e.g., sending site samples to a service provider for evaluation), to on-site demonstration of method applicability studies. Technology evaluation can be a component of a traditional approach to hazardous waste site characterization and remediation, but it is particularly pertinent to the Triad since successful real-time decision-making depends on real-time measurement technologies performing as expected during the course of field work.
From a management and project planning perspective, the primary need is to reserve project time and resources for adequate technology evaluation work prior to the initiation of field activities. This can be done as a stand-alone activity, or as part of other, on-going field work where the particular situation allows. A simple example of the latter is deploying a GPS system along with a civil survey that uses more traditional techniques to verify the site-specific performance and limitations of the GPS before it is main-streamed into project work. Another example is the analysis of previously analyzed and archived samples by a potential field-deployable technology to provide data on analytical performance (e.g., comparability, detection capabilities, bias, etc.) for site-specific matrices.