• U.S. Army trains rats in explosives detection

    Landmines kill between 15,000 and 20,000 people a year, and continue to kill adults and children decades after a conflict ends; the U.S. Department of Defense currently relies on dogs as the animal of choice for explosives detection, but Pentagon researchers want to see whether rats can be trained to do the job; rats are smaller so they can search smaller spaces than a dog can, and are easier to transport

  • Advanced explosives detector sniffs out previously undetectable amounts of TNT

    TNT and other conventional explosives are the mainstays of terrorist bombs and the anti-personnel mines that kill or injure more than 15,000 people annually in war-torn countries; in large, open-air environments, such as airports, train stations, and minefields, concentrations of these explosives can be as small as a few parts of TNT per trillion parts of air, making it impossible for conventional bomb and mine detectors to detect the explosives and save lives

  • U.K. Ministry of Defense seeking IED sensors of the future

    The U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) scientists are soliciting ideas from U.K. industry and academia to showcase their innovative ideas for detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs); in particular, MoD is looking for sensors that can detect concealed IEDs, either worn by a person or hidden in a vehicle, buried by or in the roadside or hidden in a wall, box, bag, or another container

  • New book offers useful information about explosives

    New book covers the principles, instrumentation, and applications of current technologies used to detect explosives in the field; it also discusses detection requirements, methodologies used for detector evaluation, and sampling technologies

  • Improving landmine detection – and air travel safety

    It is estimated that there are about 110 million active landmines lurking underground in sixty-four countries across the globe; each year as many as 25,000 people, most of them civilians, are maimed or killed by landmines; the mines not only kill and maim, they can paralyze communities by limiting the use of land for farming and roads for trade; researchers offer a better way to detect landmines – a method which can also be used in airports to help thwart possible terrorist threats

  • Advanced IED detectors save lives

    Almost 60 percent of all coalition forces wounded or killed in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001 have been due to IEDs; to complicate matters, insurgents in Afghanistan have been increasingly constructing IEDs to circumvent simple metal detectors; some IEDs contain rudimentary materials such as wooden boards, foam rubber, and plastic containers; the finished product contains very little metal making it difficult for a traditional metal detector to pick up

  • Airport security screening technology market to grow

    In 2011, TSA distributed approximately $437.1 million in contract obligations toward airport screening technologies; this amount is likely to grow in coming years as airport security authorities look for technology which would allow them to balance the requirements of tight security, on the one hand, and demands from the public for faster and less intrusive screening measures

  • Silkmoth inspires novel explosive detector

    Scientists, imitating the antennas of the silkmoth, Bombyx mori, designed a system for detecting explosives with unparalleled performance; made up of a silicon microcantilever bearing nearly 500,000 aligned titanium dioxide nanotubes, the device is capable of detecting concentrations of trinitrotoluene (TNT) of around 800 ppq 1 (that is, 800 molecules of explosive per 1015 molecules of air), thus improving one thousand-fold the detection limit attainable until now

  • NIST releases new standard reference material for detecting PETN and TATP

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a new standard reference material (SRM) to aid in the detection of two explosive compounds that are known to be used by terrorists; researchers designed the new test samples to simulate the size and behavior of residues that remain after handling the explosives PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) and TATP (triacetone triperoxide)

  • TSA looking for device to replace pat-downs

    DHS is soliciting ideas from technology companies for a hand-held scanner which may be used instead of pat-down searches on passengers who set off alarms as they go through a full-body scanner

  • K-9 units from across the U.S. helped secure NATO Summit in Chicago

    ATF K-9 teams from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Texas helped secure the NATO Summit in Chicago this past weekend; on explosives-sniffing dog named Ithaca was also on duty; the dog is famous for his keen sense of smell that enables him to detect approximately 19,000 explosive odor combinations

  • Nanostructured sensor detects very low concentrations of explosive

    The male silk moths has a highly sensitive sense organ which it uses to recognize pheromone molecules excreted by females as these molecules land on male’s antennae; scientists now use the male silk moth approach in explosives detection

  • U.K. certifies Morpho Detection’s Itemiser DX for air cargo screening

    The U.K. Department for Transport has certified the Itemiser DX desktop explosives trace detection (ETD) system from Morpho Detection for air cargo screening at U.K. airports

  • Canadian airports deploy desktop explosives trace detection systems

    The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) acquired sixty-three desktop explosives trace detection (ETD) systems to be deployed to airports in Canada to support passenger and baggage screening efforts

  • Optical sensor specialist to develop explosive sensing technology

    Polestar Technologies, a developer of optical sensors, has recently won a $2.5 million government contract from the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Deterrent Organization (JIEDDO) to develop a system for the stand-off detection of explosives hidden on a person