Explosives Detection Systems constitutes the Security Gadgets which can detect and indicate the presence the explosives in a matter on the basis of its vapors or traces of particulates. There are certain devices available in market which can detect the explosives with both the methods of sniffing vapors as well as sampling traces of particulates. The utility of these devices lies in its portability, its because of this reason, these are primary part of full explosive and Bomb Detection Systems today at most of the strategic locations of security concern. As some of these devices can also be used for detection of narcotics- they are very much popular in Airports. Some of the companies in to explosive detection systems are “Smith Detection” from Germany, “Scintrex Trace” from Canada, GE Security, Lavanda –U” from Russia etc.
Technologies used in Explosive Detection System:-
Ion Mobility Spectrometry, Gas Chromatograph, Amplifying Fluorescent Polymer and Chemiluminescence are some of the technologies used in Explosive Detection Systems. Where Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) works on the principle of ion velocity in an electric field, where sample explosive are to be ionized with the help of a radioactive source. The drawback of this technology is safety hazards owing to the radioactive source for ionization. There are certain technologies like Chemiluminescence & Gas Chromatograph as well which do not involve a radioactive source inside the device for ionization.
Sensitivity of a Device:-
The ability of an Explosive Detection Device to detect lowest amount of explosive matter is called its sensitivity. The lower it can sense, the better is the sensitivity. The unit of sensitivity is measured in femtograms, Pico grams or Nano grams depending on its sensitivity. As certain explosives have very low vapor pressure, emitting very less vapor- its important for the detector to be able to sense lowest of the vapors. Hence Sensitivity of the device plays a key role in its success.
Advantages of Explosive Detection Device:-
The main advantage of such devices is its portability and as well as its ability to sense multiple types of explosives. Unlike heavy equipment like Baggage Scanner which are not portable and unlike other gadgets like hand held metal detectors which can only sense metals (some times giving false alarms as well) , the explosive detectors comes handy when it comes to portability as well as detection.
Disadvantages of Explosive Detection Device:-
Cold start up time and analysis time is one of the drawbacks of these gadgets in places with a lot of crowd and traffic throughput. Another issue with these detection systems is presence of radio active source in some of these devices causing safety concerns in public.
Above is the chart indicating various devices available in market along with the technology used in them for detection.