Raman spectroscopy is the technology of choice to identify bulk solid and liquid phase unknown samples without the
need to contact the substance. Materials can be identified through transparent and semi-translucent containers such as
plastic and glass. ConOps in emergency response and military field applications require the redesign of conventional
laboratory units for: field portability; shock, thermal and chemical attack resistance; easy and intuitive use in restrictive
gear; reduced size, weight, and power. This article introduces a new handheld instrument (ACE-IDTM) designed to take
Raman technology to the next level in terms of size, safety, speed, and analytical performance. ACE-ID is ruggedized
for use in severe climates and terrains. It is lightweight and can be operated with just one hand. An intuitive software
interface guides users through the entire identification process, making it easy-to-use by personnel of different skill
levels including military explosive ordinance disposal technicians, civilian bomb squads and hazmat teams. Through the
use of embedded advanced algorithms, the instrument is capable of providing fluorescence correction and analysis of
binary mixtures. Instrument calibration is performed automatically upon startup without requiring user intervention.
ACE-ID incorporates an optical rastering system that diffuses the laser energy over the sample. This important
innovation significantly reduces the heat induced in dark samples and the probability of ignition of susceptible explosive
materials. In this article, the explosives identification performance of the instrument will be provided in addition to a
quantitative evaluation of the safety improvements derived from the reduced ignition probabilities.