Page 1

SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions for Military EOD Operations

Sometimes Finding the Solution to New Challenges Can Be Found Looking Back The Heightened Urgency of Explosive Ordnance Detection Explosive Detection with Sensitivity, Selectivity and Portability The Rising Global Market for Explosive Detection Equipment The Diversity of Explosive Detection Methods

Sponsored by

Future Detection of Explosives

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions for Military EOD Operations

Contents Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Sometimes Finding the Solution to New Challenges Can Be Found Looking Back Sometimes Finding the Solution to New Challenges Can Be Found Looking Back The Heightened Urgency of Explosive Ordnance Detection Explosive Detection with Sensitivity, Selectivity and Portability The Rising Global Market for Explosive Detection Equipment The Diversity of Explosive Detection Methods Future Detection of Explosives

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

3

Edward Locke, PhD and Kimberly Pricenski, Morphix Technologies

From Early Beginnings A Number of Factors Come Into Play Colorimetric Chemistry in Explosive Detection Real World Applications of Colorimetric Explosive Detection Kit

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

The Heightened Urgency of Explosive Ordnance Detection

6

Tom Cropper, Editor

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

The United States National Strategy and NATO Support

Publisher Kevin Bell

Explosive Detection with Sensitivity, 8 Selectivity and Portability

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

The US Naval Lead in Seeking Equipment for Detection NATO Reinforces American Work

Mary Dub, Editor

Editor Mary Dub

Industry Groups Included in Consultation and Research

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

The Rising Global Market for Explosive Detection Equipment

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

9

Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

The Market Trend is Up Saudi Arabia’s Recent Hike in Security Spending China Spending on Security Remains High and Growing

The Diversity of Explosive Detection Methods

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Colorimetric Kits

Š 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

NATO STANDEX

10

The Fertilizer Detection Problem Are Dogs Too Low Tech? And Can They Work Well in the Heat? CL (Chemiluminescence)

Future Detection of Explosives

12

Mary Dub, Editor

Future Research Required New Challenges for Detection, Hidden Within the Person Explosives DARPA Includes New Explosive Detection Technologies New Trace and Bulk Detection Methods

References 14

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

Foreword T

HE HEIGHTENED security environment after

institutions through the White House, the Department

the events this year in France and Denmark are

of Defense, through NATO and in partnership with

a vital reminder of the continuing urgency of counter

industry. There is little doubt that, even though the

terrorism and of explosive ordnance detection.

international coalition has withdrawn from Afghanistan,

This Special Report looks at the importance of

the salience of explosive device detection has not

explosive detection and reviews the challenges

been downgraded in national importance.

that the industry has met in a multitude of ways to confront this ever changing problem.

One of the special features of the detection of explosives is the cooperation between government

The Report opens with an article that looks at the

and industry to enable the armed services to state

developments that have taken place in Calorimetric

their needs and industry to explain their product

Explosive detection and points out that the technology

capabilities. The resulting success of the industry

actually dates back to ancient times. However, it is

is demonstrated by the growing global market for

the recent rise in terrorist activity that has spurred

explosive detection products, which is summarized

the development of explosive devices. While a need

in the next article.

remains for traditional electronic portable and larger

The extraordinary urgency of the task, and the vast

trace detection systems, there is a growing demand

array of potential explosives that could be used by

for Calorimetric Explosive trace detection kits for use

terrorists or criminals has created a very wide spectrum

in the field. Existing trace detection kits are difficult to

of services on the market, which goes from kits, to

use and can expose the user to dangerous chemicals

sniffer dogs to robots. These each have their place, if

and even lead to unreliable results. This is where the

their capabilities are evaluated accurately.

Tracex Explosive Detection Kit, developed by Morphix

As always, the end piece addresses the future. And

Technologies, under contract to the Department of

the diversity and capability of new technologies that

Defense (DoD) excels. It allows quick analysis from

are being brought to development and production by

a single sample of material to determine if it contains

industry is reassuring for the civilian or soldier facing

explosive materials or precursors.

counter terrorist threats.

The second piece encompasses the attempts in the 21st century, particularly in the United States, to highlight the importance of this issue, by setting up

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub is the editor of this Special Report. She has covered the defense field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

2 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

Sometimes Finding the Solution to New Challenges Can Be Found Looking Back Edward Locke, PhD and Kimberly Pricenski, Morphix Technologies

I

“ F IT ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Absolutely, we all want the newest and greatest widget but sometimes those tried and true methods are still best. Colorimetric Explosive detection is a great example. Many of the colorimetric explosive detection kits in use today employ colorimetric chemistries that have been known for over a hundred years. The opportunity for improvement has occurred in designing a better form fact, but keeping what works.

From Early Beginnings Modern colorimetric detection technology dates back to ancient times, as early as the 1st century. The earliest record of a colorimetric reaction was given by Plinius Secundus, a philosopher and Roman Empire Commander, who used gallnut extract to detect the presence of iron in hydrated copper acetate. The growing dye and pigment industry in the late 19th century spurred the development of modern colorimetric detection technologies, many of which serve critical roles in analytical laboratories today. So, how do colorimetric detection chemistries work? Color originates from the complex and fascinating interaction of visible light with chromophores (color changing material), or groups of atoms in molecules which are capable of absorbing certain wavelengths of visible light. Due to this absorption phenomenon, these substances are perceived as having color. The hue and depth of the perceived color are related to the specific wavelengths absorbed and the absorption efficiency of the molecule, respectively. The alteration of electron density distribution in a molecule through reaction with another chemical forms the basis for colorimetric chemical detection.

chemistry detection technologies must react with the chemical of interest resulting in a change in the absorption characteristics, but that’s only one part of the equation. Several other factors, as described below, are involved in the development of colorimetric chemistries suitable for real-world field applications. Sampling rate is related to the effective surface area of the sensor materials. The greater the physical surface area and dispersion of reactive chromophore, the more rapid capture and reaction of the explosive material and thus rapid colorimetric reaction. A large physical surface area with well-dispersed reactive chromophores allows optimum conditions for fast response time.

A Number of Factors Come Into Play

SENSITIVE SITE EXPLOITATION FOR

In order to be effective, field based colorimetric

EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

Long shelf life and

Representative Explosive Materials and Precursors

service life under harsh environmental conditions

HME Class

Representative Chemicals

Nitroaromatics

TNT, DNT, Tetryl, picric acid

Nitramines & Nitrate Esters

RDX, HMX, PETN, EGDN, nitroglycerin

Inorganic Nitrates urea nitrate, ammonium nitrate, black powder

is critical for a product designed for use in SWABBING SUSPECT SURFACE FOR EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS

the field Ideally, the colorimetric chemistry will react with the specific chemical/explosive of interest without reacting with other chemicals (interferents) also present. Interferents are other chemicals present in the environment which react with the colorimetric chemistry to give the appearance that the chemical/ explosive of interest is present (a false positive response), or on the other hand, that chemically destroys the ability of the colorimetric chemistry to react with the chemical/explosive of interest (a false negative response). Careful formulation of the colorimetric chemistry is required to minimize the impact of interferents. Long shelf life and service life under harsh environmental conditions is critical for a product designed for use in the field. Major environmental parameters which affect the life and performance of colorimetric detection sensors include temperature, humidity, and light (indoor and outdoor). Formulation efforts need to be optimized to “build out” the effects of these real environmental stresses.

Colorimetric Chemistry in Explosive Detection Explosive Detection, in general, was not a priority until the rise of terrorist activity with the events in the United Kingdom by the Irish Republican Army, the Palestinian attacks in Israel, the attacks in Russia by the Chechen terrorists and, more recently, the attacks in the US, or directed toward the US, as in the case of the US Marine Barrack attack in Lebanon. In 1983, after the a terrorist attack brought down the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie UK, Congress passed the Aviation Security Improvement Act which specifically states, “an evaluation of deployment of explosive detection devices” to be performed annually and provided in the Annual Aviation Security Report. Explosives remain the weapon of choice for terrorists around the world. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a threat from international terrorist organizations, as mentioned above, and local, home grown terrorists as 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

Chlorates & Bromates

potassium chlorate, potassium bromate

Peroxides

TATP, HMTD

Precursor Class

Representative Chemicals

Acids

nitric acid, sulfuric acid, citric acid, hydrochloric acid

Bases

potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide

well. Sadly, Home Made Explosives (HMEs) and IEDs have become a fact of modern life. Military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel have a dual role – uncovering the bomb networks and systems before the bombers do harm, and investigating an incident after it occurs. Colorimetric chemistry has been widely used in the detection of explosive materials. Traditional portable electronic explosive detection devices require a great deal of specialized training, a large budget and regular maintenance. While there is no dispute that there is a need for these electronic portable trace explosive detectors and larger explosive trace detection systems, there is a growing demand for colorimetric explosive trace detection kits for use in the field. A number of these kits have existed for some time; however, they often require the user to mix chemicals, perform serial analysis, conduct multiple swabs or tests, and then use a chart to interpret the results. Existing explosive trace detection kits are difficult to use, especially in stressful situations. Even worse, many explosive trace detection kits can expose the user to dangerous chemicals and expose the kits to contamination from the environment or the user, leading to unreliable results. Some colorimetric explosive detection kits can only be used for bulk detection; however, explosive trace detection is critical in many real world applications.

Real World Applications of Colorimetric Explosive Detection Kit • Military personnel use colorimetric explosive detection kits for sensitive site exploitation to determine who and what the threats are. Colorimetric explosive detection kits provide quick and reliable results of the presence of explosive materials.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

COLORIMETRIC RESULT INDICATING NITRATES

• L aw Enforcement officers often need presumptive tests to identify the presence of explosive materials and their precursors. Bulky and expensive electronic explosive detectors can be impractical for field use. • Intelligence officials use colorimetric explosive detection kits to detect the presence of explosive materials and their precursors in realtime. A colorimetric explosive detection kit with a single swab that provides results of multiple explosive threats is ideal for this application. The one common variable among the real world applications listed above is the ability of the test to be performed outside of a laboratory. Colorimetric explosive detection kits are usually utilized when a rapid on-site diagnostic detection of explosive materials is needed. With that said, these kits are often used to test a suspect’s hands and equipment, in post blast sites, or in border stations, sea ports and airports. Typically these tests are being performed by nontechnical individuals, therefore, the explosive detection kits must be easy to use, rugged for use under extreme environmental conditions and easy to interpret. Under contract with the Department of Defense (DoD), Morphix Technologies developed the TraceX Explosive Detection kit. In early product development discussions with the DoD, the primary focus of the development effort was designed toward a concept that would allow the end user to take a single sample of the material and determine if it contained explosive

materials or precursors. The end user wanted a device that was simple to use, required very little training, allowed quick analysis of the sample and provided clear non-ambiguous results. The TraceX explosives detection kit is simple to use and low cost. It is an explosive detector that can be used by military personnel, law enforcement and intelligence officials. With a single swab, the TraceX explosive detection kit detects all the major families of explosive materials and their precursors. The TraceX’s simple color change alert system provides a single color indication of the presence of a particular family of explosive material. No serial testing is required and there is no interpretation of the results. As the burden of greater threats and reduced resources falls on our military, law enforcement and intelligence communities, it becomes even more essential that they have tools that allow them to achieve their missions quickly and effectively. The use of colorimetric chemistry is an ideal solution.

Contact Morphix Technologies, Inc. 2557 Production Road Virginia Beach, VA 23454 +1-757-431-2260 +1-757-431-2255 KPricenski@morphtec.com www.morphtec.com

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

The Heightened Urgency of Explosive Ordnance Detection Mary Dub, Editor

“The task of finding stand-off detection of improvised explosive devices is extremely urgent. Yet because of the variety of explosive materials available, cleverness of packaging, variability of venue and the (mostly) low vapor pressures of explosive, the task of detection is extremely difficult.”1 David S Moore, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2007

It is because the ingredients for an IED are commonly available in household and farmland products that they are so difficult to detect

T

HIS IS statement is as true now in 2015, after the terrorist events in France and Denmark, as it was in 2007, four years into the Iraq War. To echo the research of David Moore, the inventiveness and creativity of those that would do the civilized world harm are seemingly limitless. This fact has been true throughout history; today is no exception. While civilized people might have difficulty understanding their enemies’ motivation, they can and must use their own creativity to proactively conceive adequate defenses. The lethality of improvised explosive devices in both Iraq and Afghanistan was a brutal measure of the effectiveness of these devices.

The United States National Strategy and NATO Support After the events of 9/11 and the bombings in the United States, London, Madrid and Moscow among others, there has been an international determination to detect explosive devices and protect life. The United States President has a goal of national preparedness. The acronym CBRNe is frequently used to describe this strategy, but the small ’e’ at the end has critical importance, because explosives are included in the national strategy to develop “countermeasures and equipment that can be used with confidence for the protection of life, health, property and commerce”.2 Just to clarify the acronym IED (Improvised Explosive Device) it is useful to look at how the Department of (American) Homeland Security describes it. IEDs can come in many forms because they are ‘home made’. This can range from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

of causing massive damage and loss of life. IEDs can be carried or delivered in a vehicle; carried, placed, or thrown by a person; delivered in a package; or concealed on the roadside.3 And as the Department of Homeland Security describes, it is because the ingredients for an IED are commonly available in household and farmland products that they are so difficult to detect. They give some examples. Many commonly available materials, such as fertilizer, gunpowder, and hydrogen peroxide, can be used as explosive materials in IEDs. To become explosive the device must also contain a fuel and an oxidizer, which provides the oxygen needed to sustain the reaction. A common example is ANFO, a mixture of ammonium nitrate, which acts as the oxidizer, and fuel oil (the fuel source).

The US Naval Lead in Seeking Equipment for Detection Until now the Department of the US Navy has taken the lead in Explosive Ordnance Detection. As the Technical Direction Agent for the Department of Defense’s Explosive Detection Equipment Program, the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division led the pursuit of effective and suitable technology for concealed threat device detection. They were looking for equipment that would effectively and economically confirm the presence or absence of energetic materials in or on: 1) mail/ parcels/cargo, 2) vehicles, 3) personnel and 4) improvised explosive devices.4 The department of the American military that took up the quest was PSEAG (Physical Security Enterprise and Analysis Group), which had a test and evaluation program. This included assessment


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

SWABBING HAND WITH TRACEX COLLECTOR

of the capabilities, limitations, and military utility of currently available Colorimetric Trace systems. Colorimetric systems detect explosives through resulting color changes.5

NATO Reinforces American Work In a series of annual advanced research workshops, NATO brought together experts to work on the problem of standoff detection of explosives. Michael Krausa from the FraunhoferInstitut fur Chemische Technologie ICT, Pfinztal, Germany noted that there were two principal approaches to detection – bulk detection and vapor detection. He pointed out that, today, bulk detection of explosives is very common, for example, in airport security. Normally X ray systems and the limiting of liquids effectively control the luggage at airports. X-ray systems cannot be used for the search of large areas, transport hubs, airports or station halls or where suicide bombers are concerned. For these applications, where a search of large areas is

required, so called ‘sniffer’ dogs are the most successful explosive detection ”systems” at present. Dogs are able to detect explosives from the vapor phase under various conditions. On the other hand, dogs are living beings and their behavior and skills are influenced by numerous parameters. Dogs have and do offer many advantages in the field and are doing so in government departments, the military and the border agencies for a number of countries. Research by the Canine Olfactory Detection Laboratory at the Auburn University, Alabama, United States shows that dogs are able to smell concentrations as low as 10 to the minus 12 to 10 to the minus 13 g. More important, in view of development of new sensors for the detection of explosives, is the fact that dogs do not necessarily detect the pure explosive but byproducts or impurities.6 It can be seen that dogs have a number of significant drawbacks and chemical systems come into their own to deal with these.

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

Explosive Detection with Sensitivity, Selectivity and Portability Mary Dub, Editor

JIEDDO can develop a solution and have it making a positive effect on the battlefield in as little as three-tofour months – 75 percent faster than the regular military acquisition process

T

HE ORGANIZATIONAL powerhouse behind the research and acquisition of explosives detection equipment is JIEDDO, The Joint IED Defeat Organization. The focus is along three primary lines of operation: attacking the network, defeating the device, and training the force. What has made JIEDDO truly unique is its rapid acquisition ability. Once a combatant commander requirement has been validated, JIEDDO can develop a solution and have it making a positive effect on the battlefield in as little as three-to-four months – 75 percent faster than the regular military acquisition process. Working with JIEDDO last year (2014) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) Explosive Detection Equipment (EDE) Program was a user-based scenario evaluation of colorimetric explosive detection kits at U.S. Army Blossom Point Research Facility. “We were able to bring in a variety of military EOD technicians and other government, entry control point personnel, forensic specialists, and law enforcement personnel who would actually use kits like these in the field - professionals who encounter explosives while performing their duties,” said Cristina Spencer, NSWC IHEODTD EDE program director.7

Industry Groups Included in Consultation and Research The research group included representatives from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Marshals and all four services of EOD. The six companies providing demonstration

8 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

products were ChemSpectra, DetectaChem, Field Forensics, Lindon Defense, Mistral Security, and Morphix Technologies.8 During the five-day evaluation, participants operated a variety of colorimetric kits within the confines of realistic scenarios that were prepared by EDE Program members. The colorimetric kits were trialed in different ways, with different ‘scripts’. “The different scripts involved trace and visible amounts of actual explosives, as well as precursors and materials that have the potential to cause false alarms,” said Spencer. “We set up a backyard shed used to manufacture Homemade Explosives (HME), an event line in which people were being screened, and an Entry Control Point (ECP) at which vehicles were being screened. We also staged a suspected letter bomb at a mail screening f a c i l i t y, a n d c o n d u c t e d p o s t- b l a s t investigations.” All the participants were trained how to use each of the colorimetric kits directly by manufacturer representatives. “Opportunities also were there to provide direct feedback to the manufacturers, which only enhances the communication process,” said Spencer. “End-user participation was critical in this evaluation, in order to assist the explosive detection community to establish standards that can be met by manufacturers and government agencies alike.”


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

The Rising Global Market for Explosive Detection Equipment Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

“Following the January 2015 terror attacks in Paris, we forecast that the demand for ETD (Explosives and Narcotics Trace Detection) systems will increase in the European aviation and public transportation security sector, secured facilities, first responders and public venues security.”9 Homeland Security Research.com

S

INCE 2015, after the drawdown from Afghanistan and Iraq, there has been a change in focus of the conflict. The areas of violent instability are around groups like ISIS, within Syria, the Ukraine and other areas such as Pakistan, Yemen and Iran. The conflict in these areas is providing the pretext for violent terrorist activity in Europe and within many other Asian and Middle Eastern countries. It is in this context that the events in January in Paris and later In Denmark are now being considered. There is no doubt that the protection of strategic national infrastructure by the security services will always be a strong market, as will border agencies and the protection of transport hubs. However, the recent events highlight the potential for improved explosives detection security in private events, and in commercial outlets. What are the numbers on this? In 2011 Homeland Security Research saw the market divide up with North America taking 40%, Asia Pacific 27% Europe 20% Middle East 9%and Latin America 4%. By 2020 they believe there is a realistic prospect of the picture changing in emphasis. So by 2020 North America’s percentage of the market falls to 27%, while Asia Pacific rises to 32% and Europe to 25%, while the Middle East rises slowly to10%, and Latin America remains slowly trending up at 6%10.

The Market Trend is Up To summarize their research, they see the multibillion-dollar ETD (Explosives Trace Detection) market undergoing an accelerated growth period. The dominant drivers are the January 2015 Paris terror attack leading to a European security funding hike, the oil-gas industry security needs and China’s massive investments in new airports and public security.

This is set against long-standing drivers like conflict in the Middle East, the Latin America war on drugs, the Indian government counterterror investments and the U.S. and the EU legislations enforcing 100% cargo screening on all passenger flights. Homeland Security Research Corporation analysts forecast that the 2015-2020 ETD market (including systems sales, service, consumables and upgrades) will present multibillion-dollar business opportunities growing at a CAGR of 14%.11

Saudi Arabia’s Recent Hike in Security Spending The turmoil in the Arab world and the Iranian driven Sunni-Shi’a divide in the Muslim world are forcing the Saudi Arabian royal family to take some important internal security decisions. The Saudis raised their 2011 Homeland Security and Public Safety procurement budget by 46%. During 2014-2018, Saudi Arabia plans to procure as much as $70B of Homeland Security (HLS) and Public Safety related products and services. This makes Saudi Arabia the highest per capita HLS spender in the world. The global financial crisis has little impact on the economy of Saudi Arabia. So the regime has a very generous budget to spend on technology to defend the Kingdom from internal or external threats.

China Spending on Security Remains High and Growing The People’s Republic of China began the implementation of a national program requiring 650 Chinese cities to reform their public security and safety infrastructures with new technologies in 2011. Although some of this market is being met domestically, it offers a business environment of great potential. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

The Diversity of Explosive Detection Methods Don McBarnet, International Security Correspondent

Trace detection specifically involves the chemical detection of explosives by collecting and analyzing tiny amounts of explosive vapor or particles

E

XPLOSIVE DETECTION equipment has to solve a multitude of changing tasks. And it is an almost universal truth in warfare that the violent opponent is both canny and innovative. So for instance, JIEDDO in Afghanistan has devoted much time in thinking about the asymmetric threat of IEDS by detecting and diverting the threat. Where the explosive ingredient for many IEDS was discovered to be based on ammonium nitrate, a common fertiliser, making detection and interception a much greater challenge, Lieutenant General Michael Oates, Director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization, and General Stanley McChrystal lobbied Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2009 to impose a ban on ammonium nitrate fertiliser. This resulted in a pattern – the US tried to ban chlorine in Iraq after the chlorine bombs.12

The Fertilizer Detection Problem As an explosive ingredient, ammonium nitrate (AN) presents a complex case for detection, because of its regular presence in the environment as a fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate is a very strong oxidizing agent that makes an explosive mixture when combined with a fuel such as a hydrocarbon, usually diesel. It has been a favored choice for terrorist activities by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh. Now it is the basic ingredient of 80 per cent of the IEDs killing large numbers of troops and Afghan civilians each year (source: NATO Training Mission Afghanistan website). There are IMS (Ion mobility spectrometry) based systems, which have mixed results against AN. Smiths Detection sells trace detection, which involves the chemical detection of the explosive. The Sabre 4000 is capable of detecting AN, but Bruker’s new security screening tool, DE-tector, despite also being IMS based, does not cite AN as a target. This omission of capability is deliberate in some cases to enhance sensitivity to other targets. Matthew Dock, Principal Engineer in Detection 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

Technologies, explained the ICx approach with FIDO. “Ammonium nitrate provides an interesting set of issues,” he said. “AN is ubiquitous in the environment and can cause perceived false alarms. In the Fido XT, we intentionally avoided detecting ammonium nitrate due to the possibility of false positives. There have been a number of papers published about the high background of explosives; much of that background, however, can be traced to naturally occurring nitrate salts. By making equipment that cannot detect ammonium nitrate, the Fido XT is capable of improving its detection of real threats.”

Are Dogs Too Low Tech? And Can They Work Well in the Heat? In an overview of explosives detection technologies, the Department of Homeland Security noted that trace detection and bulk detection required different approaches. Trace detection specifically involves the chemical detection of explosives by collecting and analyzing tiny amounts of explosive vapor or particles. In general trace detection provides more specific identification - it requires being close to the source and is subject to false alarms from background materials and can be defeated by packaging.13 Facing the problem of dealing with standoff detection of traces of explosive there is no doubt that explosive detector dogs have a strong fan group. Keith Hammond, CEO of Optima Associates and formerly a C- IED/ Search Staff Officer, joined a chorus of industry and military sources that all praised the use of dogs, although he observed that in a challenging hot military environment like Afghanistan, dogs have their drawbacks: “Ironically, a dog’s obvious heat control system is inhibited during the sniffing process. This does need careful management, especially in theatres like Afghanistan”.14

Colorimetric Kits Colorimetric systems have strong advantages. However these systems are sometimes better


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

suited to identifying visible amounts of explosive, and they do not help find hidden or concealed explosives. The former Ahura, now Thermo Scientific, handheld chemical ID equipment, including FirstDefender and TruDefender FT, have utility in this area, as do their Smiths counterparts. Colometric kits play a different and valued role; they are not immediately comparable to the Talon CBRNe Hazmat robot, which can help uncover hidden IEDs.

CL (Chemiluminescence) In a paper for NATO Advisory Explosives Detection Working Group, Ana M Jimenez and Maria J Navas offer an evaluation of trace explosives detection methods. Trace detection involves the chemical detection of explosives by collecting and analyzing tiny amounts of explosive vapor or particles and looking for residue or contamination from handling or being in proximity to explosive materials. Microscopic particles of solid explosive materials can adhere to a wide variety of surfaces (Teflon, glass, metal, plastic) and they can be detected by wiping the surface. Vapor detectors examine the vapor emanating from a liquid or

a solid explosive and because some explosives have a low vapor pressure, these detection techniques need to be very sensitive. When David Moore, of Los Alamos Laboratories reviewed published work on CL he pointed out that vapor or particle detection systems are best suited for personnel monitoring. He has also stated how difficult it is to detect explosives, among other reasons, because of the low vapor pressure of most common explosives – vanishingly small in the case of the highest priority explosives. He notes the attenuation of vapor by packaging or the thermal degradation of the material when the temperature is raised to achieve higher vapor pressure. Therefore, methods that rely on sampling of air spaces need to either sample very large volumes or have exceedingly small detection limits. While no method is right for every threat scenario, there are a number of common criteria that all explosive detectors can be evaluated against for example, unit cost, weight, sensitivity, selectivity, startup time, response time, battery needs, operator skills and training among a number of others15. Measured against these criteria, high quality colorimetric kits have value.

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

Future Detection of Explosives Mary Dub, Editor

In good data analysis of recent terrorist explosions, research about the chemicals which were used in different cases (criminal and terrorist) revealed that in only 3% of all cases high explosives were used

I

N EUROPE, the year 2015 has begun with a heightened awareness by the person on the street, or the law enforcement officer, of the potential lethality of violent extremism. It is this awareness that will drive the explosive detection industry to refine its technologies to achieve rapid, sensitive and selective detection of explosive materials, both at a distance and in microscopic particles close up. The immediacy of the threat will place pressure on governments with limited budgets to focus on protection of civilian groups. And as the threat now manifests there is an equal and powerful incentive for civilian groups and businesses to take measures to protect themselves.

Future Research Required As Michael Krausa explains, for NATO each threat of explosive creates a new challenge because of the range of potential explosive agents, for each of which there needs to be a test that is both sensitive and selective. For each substance that has to be detected, a special chemical sensor has to be used. This is one of the most pressing problems in the field of explosives detection for counter terrorism, because it cannot be predicted which explosive is used. In good data analysis of recent terrorist explosions, research about the chemicals which were used in different cases (criminal and terrorist) revealed that in only 3% of all cases high explosives were used.16 32% of the bombings were conducted with smokeless or black powder, 29% were conducted with simple chemical mixtures and 16% were conducted by the use of pyrotechnic compositions. 17 Restating the point, the most challenging problem is the very high number of explosives which could be used for terrorist attacks. Beside high explosives, an unmanageable number of explosives, explosive mixtures, pyrotechnics and homemade

12 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

explosives have to be considered. This is an especially acute problem because mixtures like ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil) or inorganic explosives, pyrotechnics in addition to new explosives like TATP (triacetone triperoxide) pose a serious problem for the detection from the vapor phase.18

New Challenges for Detection, Hidden Within the Person Explosives Although every scanning technology can and will make attack for a violent extremist difficult, a suicide bomber who is prepared to lose his or her own life for the attack, will always be a formidable adversary, because of the risks they are prepared to take. In a recent bombing in Saudi Arabia, a bomber was able pass through several detection procedures concealing explosives within the body before detonating them by a mobile phone, with lethal consequences for himself.19

NATO STANDEX Technology to detect explosives does not stand still. NATO recently announced the results of an international project, which took four years and 4.8 million euros (US$6.6 million) of investment, paid for by NATO, Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. The system was first tested live in June within an underground station. STANDEX technology “can detect explosives remotely, in real time and without disrupting the flow of passengers,� NATO claims. STANDEX, especially aimed at finding conventional explosives attached to suicide bombers, uses a series of sensors and microwave scanning technology that can precisely detect abnormal molecular structures within crowds unaware of its presence. NATO maintains that the system can operate


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

“in full respect of international security laws.” Russia is set to soon test response scenarios in the St. Petersburg metro. The stated goal for the technology is to let industry build on the system for commercialization at major transportation hubs and sports stadiums within the next two years.20

DARPA Includes New Explosive Detection Technologies DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has as its mission to develop new technologies to address the most urgent and intractable problems facing the armed forces. Explosives detection is one of them. MEDS (Methods for Explosive Detection at Standoff) is one area where new technology is under development. Early in 2013 DARPA awarded the first contract under the MEDS initiative to Quasar Federal Systems21. QFS developed and employed an integrated electric and magnetic field sensing system, providing ultra-low noise, low frequency electromagnetic sensing systems and applications in mapping surface and subsurface objects. The $1.17 million contract from DARPA will evaluate the use of a combined MRI and Quadrupole Resonance (QR) modality for standoff explosives detection. Other contracts were awarded to BAE Systems, the

University of Arizona, Northeastern University of Massachusetts and the Stanford University of California.

New Trace and Bulk Detection Methods Trace detection and bulk detection are the two established perspectives. New trace detection methods include optical absorption and fluorescence, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), and biosensors. Bulk detection methods include spectroscopic methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR); imaging using ionizing (X-Ray, γ−Ray); and electromagnetic sensing techniques detecting threats in the infrared (IR), terahertz (THz), millimeter (mm), and radar spectral ranges. Each of these technologies has their strengths and limitations in terms of sensitivity, speed, specificity, ability to penetrate various media, and health effects. But of course, which system to use depends on operational conditions. While trace detection offers reliable performance in an uncontaminated environment, such methods are vulnerable to relatively simple masking techniques, by hiding the explosive in opaque media with high water content – such as animal carcass or water containers. This is where these new technologies are hoped to be of value.

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COLORIMETRIC DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR MILITARY EOD OPERATIONS

References: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11220-007-0029-8#page-2 Recent Advances in Trace Explosives Detection Instrumentation

1

David S Moore, Researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Moore is a nationally recognized leader in explosives detection. 2

National Strategy for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Standards 2012

http://www.dhs.gov/national-strategy-chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear-and-explosives-cbrne-standards http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/prep_ied_fact_sheet.pdf News and Terrorism Communicating in a Crisis

3

4

5

http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/pseag/capabilityareas/P/CTE-EDE.html http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/pseag/

6

http://tiny.cc/8lzyux

Physical Security Enterprise and Analysis Group http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/pseag/about/rdt&e.html

Michael Krausa Fraunhofer-Institut fur Chemische Technologie ICT, Pfinztal, Germany

http://tiny.cc/lqzyux Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Vapour and Trace Detection of Explosives 2003 7

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80875

Explosive Detection Equipment Program Hosts User Evaluation Demonstration Story Number: NNS140508-15Release Date: 5/8/2014 12:39:00 PM By Gideon Rogers, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division Public Affairs 8

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80875

Explosive Detection Equipment Program Hosts User Evaluation Demonstration Story Number: NNS140508-15Release Date: 5/8/2014 12:39:00

PM By Gideon Rogers, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division Public Affairs

9

Homeland Security Research

http://homelandsecurityresearch.com/Explosives-and-Narcotics-Trace-Detection-ETD-Technologies-and-Global-Market-2015-2020 10

Homeland Security Research

http://homelandsecurityresearch.com/Explosives-and-Narcotics-Trace-Detection-ETD-Technologies-and-Global-Market-2015-2020 11

Homeland Security Research

http://homelandsecurityresearch.com/Explosives-and-Narcotics-Trace-Detection-ETD-Technologies-and-Global-Market-2015-2020 12

Steve Johnson asks whether anyone can smell the country... Sorted for E

http://www.cbrneworld.com/_uploads/download_magazines/CBRNe_world_autumn_2010_Sorted_for_E.pdf 13

14

Guide for the Selection of Explosives Detection Equipment and Blast Mitigation for Emergency First Responder Guide 105-7 Dr Alim A Fatah and others http://nist.gov/oles/upload/105-07_32812-ExploxivesGuideFinal5-12-08.pdf Steve Johnson asks whether anyone can smell the country... Sorted for E

http://www.cbrneworld.com/_uploads/download_magazines/CBRNe_world_autumn_2010_Sorted_for_E.pdf 15

16

17

18

Guide for the Selection of Explosives Detection Equipment and Blast Mitigation for Emergency First Responder Guide 105-7 Dr Alim A Fatah and others http://nist.gov/oles/upload/105-07_32812-ExploxivesGuideFinal5-12-08.pdf Michael Krausa Fraunhofer-Institut fur Chemische Technologie ICT, Pfinztal, Germany http://tiny.cc/lqzyux Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Vapour and Trace Detection of Explosives 2003 Michael Krausa Fraunhofer-Institut fur Chemische Technologie ICT, Pfinztal, Germany http://tiny.cc/lqzyux Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Vapour and Trace Detection of Explosives 2003 Michael Krausa Fraunhofer-Institut fur Chemische Technologie ICT, Pfinztal, Germany http://tiny.cc/lqzyux Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Vapour and Trace Detection of Explosives 2003

19

26 September 2009 BBC News Frank Gardner, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8276016.stm

20

http://rt.com/news/nato-russia-explosive-detection-997/ NATO, Russia say device used to scan crowds for explosives near completion

21

Published time: October 31, 2013 03:56 Standoff Detection of IEDs – with DARPA’s MEDS Program Force Protection Jun 26, 2013

http://defense-update.com/20130626_meds_darpa_remote_ieds.html#.VPCMv0sf8pE 14 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


Defence Industry Reports… the Defence Industry Reports….the leading specialist combined leading specialist online research andcombined networking online research and networking resource for senior military and resource for senior military and defence industry professionals. defence industry professionals.

• Up minute Industry News other content available • to Upthe to the minute Industryand and Technology Technology News andand other content available to to allallsite users on a free of charge, open access basis. site users on a free of charge, open access basis. • Qualified signed upupmembers abletoto access premium content • Qualified signed members are are able access premium content SpecialSpecial Reports andand interact with usinga variety a variety of advanced Reports interact withtheir their peers peers using of advanced onlineonline networking tools. networking tools. • Designed to help usersidentify identify new solutions, understand the the • Designed to help users newtechnical technical solutions, understand implications of differenttechnical technical choices select the the bestbest solutions implications of different choicesand and select solutions available. available. • Thought Leadership Advice and from internationally recognised • Thought Leadership – -Advice andguidance guidance from internationally recognised defence industry key opinion leaders. leaders defence industry key opinion • Peer Input - Contributions from senior military personnel and defence industry • Peer Input – Contributions from senior military personnel and defence professionals industry professionals. •

Independent Editorial Content - Expert and authoritative analysis from award

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content

Designed to facilitate debate

• Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from winning journalists and leading industry commentators award winning journalists and leading industry commentators. •

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content.

Designed debate. • Writtento tofacilitate the highest professional standards

Written to the highest professional standards.

Visit: www.defenceindustryreports.com


Defence Industry Report – Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions – Military EOD Operations  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions for Military EOD Operations

Defence Industry Report – Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions – Military EOD Operations  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Colorimetric Detection Solutions for Military EOD Operations