Smith Detection shows peroxide vapor detector

Published 1 July 2008

Peroxide is used in many household chemicals — and by terrorists; Smith Detection shows a hand-held detector which allows for fast detection of IEDs; military and airline industry are primary markets

Good news for air passengers and soldiers in the theater: Pine Brook, New Jersey-based Smith Detection, which is part of the Smiths Group, has launched a hand-held vapor detector for volatile chemicals commonly used in home-made bombs. The SABRE EXV, using Smiths Detection’s Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) technology, is a light-weight portable device that can detect and identify explosive substances,  including peroxide-based chemicals, in what the company says is as little as ten seconds. Stephen Phipson of Smiths Detection, said: “The SABRE EXV will fill a gap in detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the military and airline industries in particular. Its development demonstrates Smiths Detection’s commitment both to partnering with our customers and to R&D on products that fill an immediate, critical need.”

Peroxide-based chemicals can be found in common household products. They have been used as ingredients of many IEDs which are relatively easy to make and difficult to detect, and also have been used in a number of high-profile terror plots in recent years. The SABRE EXV has been developed specifically to combat these peroxide-based threats. Mark Laustra, vice president of homeland security for Smiths Detection, said that “Peroxide-based explosives continue to be a major challenge to security officials and a serious threat to the traveling public. The SABRE EXV will provide aviation security officials and the military a reliable, light-weight detector that can detect these unstable chemicals, which pose a threat when assembled as part of a bomb or while being transported.”