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Trace Detection Systems Without Radioactive Sources

There are numerous trace explosive and narcotics detection, based on several technologies, including ion mobility spectrometry, mass spectrometry, fluorescence quenching, antigen-antibody binding, and thermal desorption.

Most systems deployed currently in the U.S. use radioactive sources to ionize and detect threat compounds. However, because of tightening NRC regulations regarding the management of radioactive sources, manufacturers are substituting non-radioactive sources into their detection systems that will eventually replace the currently-deployed systems.

These new detectors rely on chemistries somewhat different than those detectors with radioactive sources. As a result, NIST requires two different state-of-the-art trace explosive and narcotics detector systems that utilize non-radioactive sources to develop proper standards for testing performance.

The required systems must detect particular explosive and narcotic compounds deposited on swabs at trace levels and output numerical results, including: cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), ammonium nitrate (AN), hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), cocaine, and 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA).

Other system requirements include:

  • The system must be a different model or have different capabilities from systems already in NIST possession. These include the Implant Science QS-B220 and the FLIR (ICX-Nomadics) FIDO-XT
  • Be on the latest TSA Air Cargo Screening Technology List or have passed the European Civil Aviation Conference’s CEP for airport checkpoint screening
  • A desktop unit designed to detect trace levels of explosives/narcotics from surface residues sampled on swipes
  • Minimum of 2,000 cubic inches and weigh at least 20 pounds
  • The system must utilize a non-radioactive source
  • Given a test swab, sampling and analysis time must be less than 10 seconds per sample.
  • The system must be capable of fully functional control through MS Windows-compatible software, which can display and record measurement data.
  • One kit of consumables (sample swabs, dopants, calibrants, filters, scrubbers, specialized tools, etc.) designed to support system operations for at least 6 months.

Portable handheld units will not be considered under this effort. Further details are available via Solicitation Number: SB1341-15-RQ-0616. The quotation deadline is July 24, 2015.

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