ASTM E2439-09(2016) is a comprehensive standard guide that outlines the minimum requirements for instrumentation, sensors, and operating software used in forensic psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) examinations, commonly referred to as polygraph tests. This guide is vital for ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and consistency of polygraph examinations, which are crucial in various legal and security contexts.

Overview of ASTM E2439-09(2016)

The ASTM E2439-09(2016) standard is specifically designed to cover the essential components and functionalities required for polygraph equipment. The standard mandates that such instrumentation must simultaneously record an individual’s respiratory, electrodermal, and cardiovascular activity during a polygraph examination. These physiological indicators are critical for detecting deception, as they can exhibit involuntary changes when a person is being deceptive.

Key Components and Requirements

  • Instrumentation: The guide specifies the types of instruments that should be used in PDD examinations. This includes both analog and computerized systems, ensuring that the standard remains applicable regardless of the technology used.
  • Sensors: Sensors play a crucial role in detecting physiological changes. ASTM E2439-09(2016) outlines the requirements for sensors that measure respiratory, electrodermal, and cardiovascular activity, ensuring that they are sensitive and accurate enough to detect minute physiological changes.
  • Operating Software: The guide also covers the software aspect of polygraph systems. It specifies the functionalities and features that the operating software should possess to facilitate accurate recording, analysis, and interpretation of the physiological data collected during examinations.
  • Supplemental Measurements: While the standard sets the minimum required components, it does not restrict the use of additional sensors or measurements that may enhance the examination’s accuracy. However, these supplemental components must not replace the mandatory sensors but rather complement them.

Importance of ASTM E2439-09(2016)

The ASTM E2439-09(2016) standard is crucial for maintaining the integrity and reliability of polygraph examinations. By establishing minimum requirements for the equipment and software used, the standard ensures that polygraph tests are conducted consistently and accurately across different practitioners and settings. This is particularly important in legal and security contexts, where the outcomes of such examinations can have significant consequences.


ASTM E2439-09(2016) plays a foundational role in the field of forensic psychophysiological detection of deception. By standardizing the critical components and functionalities of polygraph systems, it helps ensure that these examinations are conducted with the highest levels of accuracy and reliability. This standard guide is an essential resource for professionals involved in polygraph testing, as it provides a benchmark for equipment and practices in the field​

Links: Standard Guide for Instrumentation, Sensors and Operating Software Used in Forensic Psychophysiological Detection of Deception (Polygraph) Examinations