Sampling System for Trace Explosive Particles and Vapors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Enertechnix proposes to develop a sampling system for trace explosive particles and vapors for vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detection and related applications. Our approach combines forced air jets for dislodging particles and vapors from the vehicle surfaces, with concentration and collection of dislodged particles and scavenging of explosive vapors on artificially introduced aerosol particles with mesoporous surfaces (possibly containing selectively adsorbent polymers tuned to the molecular characteristics of explosives). These particles will be concentrated using a micro-aerodynamic lens (uADL) and collected on the walls of a microchannel collector (uCC) where the explosive vapors will be desorbed and delivered to a detector of choice at the flow rate required by that detector. All functions: particle removal, vapor scavenging, particle concentration and collection will be implemented in a compact, modular, low-power, low-cost device. The proposed sampler can be part of an array or used as a stand-alone, possibly hand-held, unit; it can serve as the front-end for a broad range of explosives analyzers, significantly improving their sensitivity and reducing detection times.