Advanced Trace Detection Instrumentation and Methodologies
Industry Day
July 25-26, 2013
William J. Cohen Building
330 C St. SW, Washington, DC 20202 

: Advanced Trace Detection Instrumentation and Methodologies Industry Days

Sponsorship: Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology (DHS S&T)

Date: July 25-26, 2013

Time: July 25, 8:00am-5:00pm, Poster Session 5:00pm-6:00pm, Networking 6:00pm-7:00pm; July 26, 8:00am-5:00pm

Where: GSA, William J. Cohen Building, 330 C Street SW, Washington, D.C.

Background: DHS S&T is sponsoring a two day technical industry meeting in the area of trace explosive detection capabilities for aviation, facilities, and mass transit security applications. Explosives trace detection is frequently used as a primary or secondary screening method for detection of explosives in screening people, baggage, and cargo.  DHS S&T is interested in significantly expanding the number of detectable analytes in explosives trace detection systems to include a range of liquid, volatile and semi-volatile organic, salts and mixtures thereof.  The addition of more analytes to the detection requirements for explosives trace detectors will require substantial technology enhancements that provide higher selectivity and sensitivity as well as sample collection improvements. 

Purpose: The industry day will outline recent research results and applicability to Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) equipment along with DHS S&T’s development strategy related to enhancing explosives detection for trace residues in aviation, facilities, and mass transit security environments to inform an upcoming new program in high resolution explosives trace detection. Project and technology overviews will be provided, in addition to experimental results and project plans for future DHS S&T sponsored research. Technical areas of focus include (1) development of next generation, desktop ETD systems, (2) development of portable ETDs, (3) signature analysis and data analytics for existing sensors and trace detection instrumentation, (4) advanced sampling methodology, both direct and non-contact, and (5) preparation of representative trace explosives sample generation in vapor and particulate form.

Description: This two-day event is anticipated to consist of presentation and poster sessions from DHS S&T, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and various researchers in the technical areas described above. Ample time will be available for interaction with attendees and presenters during presentations, poster sessions, and a networking event.  Anticipated Government attendees will include staff from DHS S&T’s Explosives Division (EXD) and the TSA.

DHS S&T is currently seeking information on the most recent advancements in explosive trace detection.  Topics of interest include:

(1) Next generation, desktop ETD systems for air cargo, baggage, or passenger screening that can selectively and sensitively identify analytes from a significantly expanded threat library compared to currently deployed systems and is structured to be modular to enable spiral upgrades as improvements in explosives detection and sampling are realized in the future.

(2) Advanced portable and handheld ETDs that will reduce the required footprint for such machines and allow the use of non-contact (direct analysis) or contact swab sampling while still maintaining a competitive price to comparable ETD systems.

 (3) Advanced signature analysis and data analytics for existing sensors and detection instrumentation to define innovative measurement system architectures that jointly optimize the physical measurement system and mathematical processing framework to provide a unified or jointly designed data acquisition, processing, detection, classification and reconstruction architecture or measurement system. Applicable approaches include, but are not limited to signature analysis, data analytics, information theory analysis, compressive measurement, coded apertures, active learning, sensor or data fusion, principle component analysis, adaptive or intelligent measurement approaches, and algorithm development.

(4) Advanced sampling tools and methodology, both direct and non-contact, to increase the collection efficiency and/or provide for additional security flexibility. Applicable areas include, but are not limited to:

·        improved and/or new swab materials that are cost competitive to current sampling media,

·         improved wand or swab holder to increase collection efficiency,

·         novel approaches for sampling from human skin or clothing,

·         reliable air pulsed sampling and collection techniques,

·         capability to rapidly sample entire exterior surface of carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or  break bulk cargo,

·         rapid pre-concentration approaches,

·        complementary combination of direct and non-contact sampling to broaden sampling capability across different explosives families,

·        an upgradable non-contact trace hand-held sampling tool that will offer increased capability to respond to emerging threats, and

·        a cost-effective, rugged, ergonomic, “universal” trace collection swabbing tool supporting common ETD systems capable of providing users with feedback with regards to reproducible and adequate pressure application to ensure optimum operation.


(5) Methods for the preparation of reproducible and representative trace explosives samples for testing to include generation in vapor and particulate form to aid in the development of next generation ETD systems. Trace samples generated should include various classes of military, commercial, and homemade explosives, as well as precursors of homemade explosives.

Attendees Sought: There is no registration fee and all technically qualified members of the public, including foreign nationals, are eligible to attend this event.  Persons seeking to attend could include representatives from private industry, federal laboratories, university researchers, and third parties with interests in the explosives trace detection security business.  Due to limited capacity of the venue, organizations will be permitted a maximum of three individuals with at least one individual possessing senior technical credentials in the organization’s R&D and/or product planning function. Approval for attending will be in order received up to venue capacity and meeting other criteria in this posting. Registration for the industry day will close at 5:00pm EST on June 25, 2013 for foreign nationals and at 5:00pm EST on July 11, 2013 for U.S. citizens. Substitution of approved attendees will not be considered less than 5 business days from the scheduled industry day and will require Government approval. Note: after June 25, 2013 foreign nationals may not be substituted into the conference.

Presentation slides or copies of the posters will not be released. Attendees are permitted to take notes for personal use but no other form of recording, including photography, of the proceedings and presentations is allowed.

No cameras, photographing, filming, video or audio recording is permitted during the conference.


Meeting Security Classification: Unclassified, U.S. citizenship not required. All foreign nationals must register by 5:00pm EST on June 25, 2013 and additional paperwork will be required.

Registration: To register, please click on the registration tab above.  Please note the space will be limited at the venue and attendance will be limited to registered attendees. Attendees must present a picture ID at registration check-in.  If there are problems with registration, send an email to:, contractor in  support of DHS  S&T.

Registration deadlines are:

1)      Foreign nationals:     June 25, 2013
2)      U.S. citizens:              July 11, 2013
Government Plans:  This announcement does not constitute an invitation for bids or a Request for Proposals (RFP) and is not a commitment by the Government to enter into any acquisition for any products or services.
This Industry Day is solely to promote collaboration between public or private companies, universities, national laboratories, and federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), DHS planning and information purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a subsequent solicitation (Broad Agency Announcement, Request for Proposal, etc.).  While the Government, after a detailed review and thorough analysis of the presentations and posters expects to issue a solicitation for the development of advanced trace detection instrumentation and methodologies, it has not committed itself to doing so.  In the event that such a solictationis issued, the Government expects that the timing is likely to award in 2014.  The Government, at its discretion, may follow up with select respondents to this Industry Day to request clarification or additional information as necessary.  Unsolicitated proposals in response to this Industry Day will not be considered.
Agenda:  A tentative agenda can be found on line at:  ATDIM Tentative Agenda.