American Security Today

DHS S&T Sponsors Advanced Trace Detection Systems Dev’t Industry Day

The goal of the two-day technical industry meeting is to help define the current state of the art for ETDs, share current research results, and encourage discussion of the trace community for future technology areas to explore to improve the detection of trace explosives. (Image courtesy of FLIR Systems)

DHS S&T is sponsoring a two-day technical industry meeting in the area of trace explosive detection capabilities for use in the Homeland Security Enterprise.

Explosives trace detection is frequently used as a screening method for the detection of explosives on people, baggage, and cargo.

DHS S&T Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) Explosives Division (EXD) previously released a Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-13-R-B-0005 (BAA 13-03) titled “Advanced Trace Detection Instrumentation and Methodologies” to improve the capabilities of explosive trace detectors (ETDs) in four key areas:

Image courtesy of FLIR Systems

Performers are delivering functional desktop ETDs, improved ionization techniques for detection, and novel sampling and testing methods including both contact and non-contact sampling methods.

There has also been effort in fundamental science to support knowledge of trace explosives particles, enhanced contact sampling, developmental test and evaluation, and tools such as standardized vapor generation for possible future research and development in both particle and vapor explosives trace detection.

Explosives trace detection experts from industry, academia, and government laboratories will gather in Washington, D.C., on October 24 and 25, 2017, for the Industry Day to discuss the advances in trace detection technologies.

The two-day event put on by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will include presentations from S&T Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), the Transportation Security Administration, and sponsored organizations performing research and development.

Image courtesy of FLIR Systems

Commercial companies, government laboratories and universities will present current research.

The purpose of this Industry Day is a follow on to HSHQDC-13-R-B-0005 (BAA 13-03) Advanced Trace Detection Instrumentation and Methodologies.

The intention is to help define the current state of the art for ETDs, share current research results, and encourage discussion of the trace community for future technology areas to explore to improve the detection of trace explosives.

Presentations will include:

  • DHS S&T’s development strategy for enhancing Explosives Trace Detector (ETD) equipment
  • DHS Component needs
  • Sponsored researchers’ recent results

Technical areas of discussion will include:

Image courtesy of Cobalt Light Systems Resolve™
  • Research and development of a retrofit of ETD
  • Advanced next generation bench top ETDs with mass spectrometry
  • Handheld ETDs
  • New tools and methodologies for enhancing ETDs.

DHS S&T is interested in collaborative discussions among DHS components, current performers, and potential performers as a follow-up on to the work performed by the BAA sponsored performers.

Also included in the discussions is how fundamental research in optical trace explosives detection can be integrated with conventional explosives trace detection and advance new and novel sampling techniques.

In addition to current work, the Industry Day will encourage discussions on:

  • How to advance new, novel sampling techniques, including the possible applications of optical trace explosives detection techniques
  • How to enhance sampling and provide an expanded capability to detect explosive threats
  • The expanded use of trace detection equipment in multiple Homeland Security environments such as
    • Aviation security
    • Borders
    • Maritime environments
Dr. Laura Parker, program manager in HSARPA’s EXD

“This is a great opportunity for the trace research and development community to share what they have been working on that supports the advancement of the trace detection science.” said Dr. Laura Parker, program manager in HSARPA’s Explosives Division.

“We want to encourage discussion of the future directions for the explosives trace detection community to solve the complex problems of explosives detection in the DHS enterprise.”

This Industry Day is seeking information on the most recent advancements in explosive trace detection, including the following topics:

  • Advanced sampling tools and methodologies, both direct and non-contact
  • Cost-effective, rugged, ergonomic, universal trace collection tools supporting common explosive trace detection system platforms
  • Rapid sampling capability
  • Methods for preparing reproducible and representative trace explosives samples for testing

(Learn More. S&T is mobilizing innovation to secure our world. From sensors to cybersecurity to technology for first responders, we work with you to find tomorrow’s solutions, today. Courtesy of DHS Science and Technology Directorate and YouTube)


Registration is open to the public.

This is a free event, however, space is limited. Please register before 7 p.m. ET, October 15, 2017.

To register and for event details, go to

**If you are registering several people, please complete and submit a new registration form for each person you are registering.**

Please Note: All attendees must present a valid government- or school-issued ID for entry into the building hosting the event.

All non-U.S. citizens must pre-register and complete a Foreign National Visitor Request Form.

For more information, email

Be sure to input the event name—2017 Advanced Trace Detection Systems Development Industry Day—in your email’s subject line.

DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) in 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) will be competing against the industry’s leading providers of Innovative Federal Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Recovery Systems.

American Security Today will be holding the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m, Wednesday, November 15th at ISC East, the Northeast’s largest security industry event, in the Jacob Javits Exhibition Center in New York City.

At ISC East you will have the chance to meet with technical reps from over 225 leading brands in the security industry, allowing you to find out about new products and stay ahead of the competition.

Encompassing everything from Video Surveillance and Access Control to Smart Home Technologies and Unmanned Security, you’re sure to find products and services that will benefit your company and clients.

Good luck to the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) on becoming a Winner of the 2017 American Security Today’s Homeland Security Awards Program!

To find out more about the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), go