Explosives Detection (ED)
Mission: Identify, prioritize, and execute research and development projects that satisfy interagency requirements for explosives detection and diagnostics with emphasis on new and enhanced detection and identification of improvised explosive devices.
The Explosives Detection (ED) Subgroup focus areas reflect the prioritized requirements of a broad range of interagency customers, including those responsible for incident response, physical security, and forensic analysis. During FY 2010, these focus areas were:
Chemical & Physical Characterization
Produce and analyze chemical and physical scientific information to expand the fundamental understanding of threats. Investigate and identify unique physical and chemical characteristics to enable detection of homemade, military, and commercial explosive capabilities and limitations of sensor technologies. The information provided will allow better focus on the selection of new technology and the optimization of existing technology for explosive detector development. This will deliver new or improved explosive detection capabilities to current and future programs within the explosive detection community.
Enabling Technology Development
Develop enabling technology to detect energetic materials and explosive precursors. Advance technologies that address capability gaps for the detection and diagnosis of person- and/or vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIED/VBIED). Areas of concern are detection rate, variability of content, safety, and impact on stream of commerce.
Bulk & Trace Explosive Detection Performance Development
Develop new capabilities and improve existing systems for quick improvements in the detection and identification of explosive threats. Improve the detection rate and accuracy of commercial and near-commercial detection systems.
Test & Evaluation
Conduct rigorous independent assessments to confirm the detection capability and performance of commercial and prototype systems. Evaluate the performance of new systems to assure that the needs of the warfighter are met.
Short-Range Detection projects develop new capabilities and improve existing systems for detection and diagnosis of terrorist devices concealed in hand baggage, cargo, and checked luggage or on persons presenting themselves at a security checkpoint. Identify, develop, test, and evaluate systems suitable for worldwide daily operations in both military and civilian environments. Improve detection rate and accuracy of identifying homemade, military, and commercial explosives, as well as increase safety for both system operators and the general public. Develop both trace chemical and bulk short-range detection methods.
Canine projects develop training tools, protocols, and technologies to support and enhance canine detection of explosives. Improve canine team effectiveness and consistency through better understanding of both canine detection phenomenology and canine-human interaction. Specific areas of interest include equipment to enhance detection capabilities; training aids and methods to expand the number of materials detected; increased scientific understanding of canine olfactory capabilities and genetic factors favoring olfaction; innovative concepts for employing canines; and increased understanding of behavioral characteristics and rearing techniques that contribute to optimum detection performance. Attention to maintaining the health and performance of detection dogs throughout their working lives is an integral part of these efforts.