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IMS-Based Trace Explosives Detectors for First Responder Use



Jennifer R. Verkouteren, John G. Gillen, R M. Verkouteren, Robert A. Fletcher, E S. Etz, George A. Klouda, Alim A. Fatah, Philip J. Mattson


The purpose of this document is to establish minimum performance requirements and an associated test method for Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) based trace explosives detectors for use by the first responder community. Information concerning the theory and operation of IMS trace detectors is presented to enhance the understanding of the performance requirements, and to aid first responders in the selection of equipment that best suits their specific needs. The definition of first responder is considered broadly to include those who must work to prevent acts of domestic terrorism, in addition to those who must respond to emergency situations. An assessment of current and future needs for IMS trace detection was conducted through interactions with the people or organizations listed in the acknowledgements, and a summary is given in this document. Although some first responders already use IMS trace detection equipment, there are a wide variety of possible uses that may be contemplated for the future.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7240
Report Number


explosives, first responder, IMS, ion mobility spectrometry, PETN, RDX, trace explosives


Verkouteren, J. , Gillen, J. , Verkouteren, R. , Fletcher, R. , Etz, E. , Klouda, G. , Fatah, A. and Mattson, P. (2005), IMS-Based Trace Explosives Detectors for First Responder Use, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created September 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017