Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 22, 2006

DHS issues RFI for bottle-screening devices

Filed under: Aviation Security,Technology for HLS — by Christian Beckner on August 22, 2006

As a response to the UK terror plot, the Science & Technology directorate of DHS posted this request for information on FedBizOpps.gov today:

In support of the ongoing effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Energy (DOE), as well as the DOE National Laboratories and the commercial sector, it is DHS’s goal to investigate any and all potential detection technologies that may assist in the identification of explosive and flammable liquids.

In order to exhaust the list of technologies that are already being investigated and to enhance the opportunities for non-traditional vendors, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) of DHS is seeking potential sources of Bottle Screening Devices capable of detecting and distinguishing explosive and flammable liquids from benign liquids (drinks, lotions, hygiene products, contact lens solutions, etc.).

The anticipated application of these devices is screening bottles or other containers at passenger checkpoints, which will require the devices to have a 200 bottle per hour minimum throughput and must meet a minimum technology readiness level (TRL) of 5 or greater. This means that the basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so it can be tested in a simulated environment….

The deadline for the RFI is September 12th.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Bruce Maccabee

August 31, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

The Navy, at the Naval Surface Warfare Center/Dahlgren, Virginia, has, for the last 5 years, acted as an agent for DARPA by running a program (the “Advanced Portal Security” program; see http://www.darpa.mil/spo/programs/aps.htm)
with the goal of developing technologies for screening bottles and other sealed containers for chemical and biological weapons. Recently added to the program are radiological/radioactive and explosive weapons. Research into several technologies was supported, including dielectric spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, mm and microwave spectroscopy. neutron-gamma spectroscopy and ultrasonic spectroscopy (ultrasonic and neutron-gamma may be able to identify through metal containers, whereas the others are stopped by metal). This was NOT a program for developing trace detection. It was assumed at the outset that any bottles, etc., were sealed and cleaned so there would be no leakage and no “trace” to detect. We know that there are several technologies that can be used alone or combined to classify and even identify many CBRE liquids (and solids and powders) in sealed containers.

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