There are several key concepts important for understanding real-time measurement systems as used by Triad.
For Triad purposes, the term "real-time measurement systems" includes any analytical or measurement technology capable of producing data quickly enough to direct the progress of field activities (characterization or remediation) while they are underway. This contrasts with the definition used by some environmental practitioners who define the term "real-time" in a more absolute sense by how much time transpires before a result is available. Triad terms are grounded in project decision-making needs. The Triad definition of "real-time" reflects the ability of technologies to support real-time in-field decision-making and ensures logical internal consistency among Triad concepts.
Almost every analytical or measurement technique, by this definition, could potentially be considered a real-time measurement system, including standard laboratory approaches with quick turn-around of sample analyses. Triad practitioners need not arbitrarily limit themselves when evaluating their analytical options, but should remain open to the full range of technologies and strategies that could meet the performance, logistical, and budgetary needs of a particular project. The only measurement systems that would not be covered by this definition are those for whom the sample preparation and analysis process is so lengthy that it precludes the timely availability of results.