NIST Program to Support Testing and Evaluation of Trace Explosive Detection
R M. Verkouteren, John G. Gillen, Jennifer R. Verkouteren, Robert A. Fletcher, Eric S. Windsor, Wayne Smith
Trace detection is a primary strategy for thwarting terrorism activities in the US and abroad. The development of effective reference materials and methods for this purpose relies on fundamental knowledge regarding the size, mass, morphologies, and chemical distributions in residues from explosives handling, personal exposure, and sampling. We are working with the NIST Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) and the DHS Transportation Security Laboratory to strengthen the chemical metrology system that supports the widespread operational deployment of explosive trace detectors (ETDs), and are applying our resources of microanalytical and trace detection instrumentation to investigate and build fundamental understanding in: 1) sampling of fingerprints and other residues containing trace explosives; 2) inkjet printing of explosive reference and calibration materials; and 3) dynamics of particle release, capture, and vapor processes in portal-based ETDs. This technical note will highlight some NIST activities in these areas.