AP4.4 - Trace Vapor Testbed and Vapor Generators for Hazardous Chemicals, Explosives and Narcotics

17th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors - IMCS 2018
2018-07-15 - 2018-07-19
Vienna, Austria
Applications 4 - Safety
S. Rose-Pehrsson, G. Collins, B. Giordano, M. Hammond, C. Tamanaha - Naval Research Laboratory, Chemistry Division, Washington (USA), M. Malito, C. Katilie - Nova Research, Inc., Alexandria (USA)
408 - 409


Trace vapor detection of hazardous chemical vapors, explosives and narcotics is critical to the protection of warfighters and travelers from explosive devices, and control of borders to prevent illegal smuggling of narcotics or cargo. Sensor and instrument developers are developing new materials and sensors for hazardous chemicals, explosives and narcotics vapor detection. However, uniform, reliable methods for evaluating new detection systems are limited, making assessments of the new products difficult. Many explosives and narcotics have extremely low vapor pressures, which makes trace vapor generation and transport an extremely difficult task. The US Naval Research Laboratory has designed, and constructed a state-of-the-art Trace Explosives Sensor Testbed (TESTbed) system to evaluate new materials, sensors and instrumentation for hazardous vapor detection. It quantitatively delivers trace vapors to as many as six sensors or materials, simultaneously. The TESTbed includes a zero-grade air source with temperature and relative humidity control, and vapor generation systems for a wide variety of chemicals and potential interferents. The TESTbed has dedicated computer control of a standardized vapor delivery system with an automated data collection system suitable for obtaining high quality validation data. In addition, a compact version of the TESTbed, the Trace Vapor Generator for Explosives and Narcotics (TV-Gen) has recently been developed. The TV-Gen is capable of reproducibly and accurately generating trace vapors (parts per quadrillion to parts per million) of low vapor pressure compounds such as explosives and narcotics for delivery to sensors and materials undergoing testing or calibration.