Explosives Detection (ED) Products
Short-Range Detection Products
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) successfully demonstrated the imaging of concealed explosives using neutron resonance radiography. The technique has good spatial resolution, can be used to image through heavy objects, and is especially useful in identifying materials containing low-atomic number elements. MIT also designed a deuterium target source for use with an existing accelerator and integrated these systems with a scintillator detector and a charge-coupled device camera. This equipment successfully demonstrated elemental identification in laboratory experiments. Work at MIT on neutron resonance radiography is continuing under a Department of Homeland Security sponsored project with L-3 Communications to develop explosives detection systems for air cargo. For additional information please fill out firstname.lastname@example.org.
TSWG participated in a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) study to evaluate and optimize the performance of two explosives trace detection systems, the Smiths Detection Ionscan® Sentinel II and the GE EntryScan3. The TSWG-funded efforts modified these systems to increase detection speed, to detect additional types of explosives, and to improve operational reliability. As a result of this study, TSA has purchased 44 trace detection portals from the two companies. Additional information on the GE EntryScan3 portal is available at http://www.geindustrial.com/ge-interlogix/iontrack/prod_entryscan.html. Additional information on the Smiths Detection Ionscan® Sentinel II is available at http://www.smithsdetection.com/eng/1522.php.
TSWG assessed commercial handheld detectors for trace explosives as a way to screen for vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. The results of this evaluation show that with proper tactics, techniques, and procedures, operators can use these detectors to find explosive residues on vehicles and other surfaces. The particle detection methods recommended by the manufacturers were generally effective. However, successful use of these detectors depends on the scenario in which they are used. Requests from government agencies for this report should be sent through email@example.com.
Marking agents are chemicals added to plastic explosives to make them more detectable. This project compared the manufacturing process, explosive performance characteristics, and operational use of flexible sheet explosives containing either no marking agent, the current concentration, or an increased marking agent concentration. Testing in both a military and civilian application found no significant differences in performance between the three versions of flexible sheet explosives. Handling and manufacturability of the explosives were acceptable in all cases. The report recommends further study of workplace exposures to the marking agent during manufacturing. Results were presented to the International Civil Aviation Organization in September 2004. For additional information please fill out firstname.lastname@example.org.
To provide for the welfare of and to preserve the effectiveness of working dogs, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in the United Kingdom has developed a manual outlining appropriate housing and care conditions. This manual presents results of research work sponsored by TSWG in an easy-to-use format for canine handlers and agencies that train and deploy canine detection teams. It includes advice on improving the kenneling environment, reducing stress, and other methods of promoting canine health. Requests for this manual from Federal, State, and local governments and other approved organizations using canines for detection should be sent through email@example.com.
The importance of canine detection, the investment in training, and the close relationships developed between dogs and handlers call for careful attention to animal welfare before, during, and after detection training. This study identified appropriate definitions of animal welfare for detection dogs, factors causing stress in kenneled dogs, means of measuring canine stress, and the effects of stress on canine performance. It also includes simple improvement measures, such as providing raised sleeping platforms for kenneled dogs. A previous study provided metrics that may be used to select dogs for bomb detection training. Results of both studies will be included in mandatory training manuals for service dogs in the United Kingdom. These projects have provided a practical scientific basis for this keystone of canine detection and are useful for both existing and new programs. Requests from government agencies for these reports should be sent through Contact Information Form.
Canine vehicle screening operations in desert environments are limited by extreme ground temperatures, which can average 120 to 140°F during the day. Canine handlers have resorted to pouring water on the ground to cool it off long enough for the canines to search vehicles at a checkpoint. To prolong the working time of the dogs on hot ground, TSWG purchased and evaluated canine boots for use in a screening operation. Initial feedback from the handlers is that the boots extend the working time of the canines. The boots also provide protection for the canines in environments where they could step on shattered glass and other debris. Individual dogs preferred different styles of boots. Additional information can be obtained from Thera-Paw, Inc. at http://www.therapaw.net, and Ruff Wear, Inc. at http://www.ruffwear.com.