Trace Explosives Particle and Vapor Sample Collection System Using Concentration of Scavenger Particles

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Enertechnix, Inc.
23616 SE 225TH ST
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Principal Investigator


Enertechnix proposes to adapt its novel aerodynamic lens aerosol concentration technology to provide high flow rate, high efficiency sampling of particles and vapors for use in the detection of Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosives Devices. Our approach combines forced air jet(s) for dislodging particles and vapors from the vehicle surfaces, concentration and collection of dislodged particles, and scavenging of explosive vapors on artificially introduced aerosol particles containing adsorbent polymers tuned to the molecular characteristics of explosives. These particles will be concentrated using our aerosol concentrator and collected on the walls of a centrifugal micro-impactor. The explosive particles and vapors will be desorbed and delivered to a downstream detector at flow rate appropriate for the selected detector. All these functions will be implemented in a compact, modular, low power, low cost device. The proposed device can be deployed as an array of samplers in a drive-through inspection portal or as a stand-alone (possibly hand-held) device. The proposed explosives particle and vapor sampling system will serve as the front-end for a broad range of explosives analyzers, significantly improving their sensitivity and reducing detection times. We anticipate that Enertechnix will be an OEM supplier of the sampling component to manufacturers of security equipment.