Historically, defense and homeland security agencies have been the primary users of trace explosives detection technology.
However, as illustrated by recent events, the threat of violent extremism extends beyond battlefields and mass transit systems.
Law enforcement agencies in communities around the world are depending more than ever on proactive and preventative technologies to keep the public safe.
Recent technological advances have enabled the development of next-generation, handheld explosives trace detection (ETD) tools designed specifically for the modern police force.
At 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg), the FLIR Fido® X2 can go anywhere the patrol officer goes, providing a visible deterrent to extremists at random checkpoints, temporary roadblocks, or foot patrol.
(Fido X2 is an ultra-lightweight, handheld explosives trace detector (ETD). It features FLIR’s proprietary TrueTrace™ technology to detect a broad range of chemicals used in the manufacture of homemade, commercial, and military explosives with best-in-class sensitivity. On-screen prompts guide users quickly through operation. Courtesy of FLIR and YouTube)
It also complements fixed-site checkpoints and mobile canine teams at high profile events and venues.
Law enforcement teams can utilize handheld ETD systems for a number of asymmetric response missions including random screening, area reduction, and post-blast sweeps.
Concealed bombs can leave trace chemical signatures behind that indicate a threat is present.
Importantly, a terrorist does not have to be carrying an explosive for residue to be detected. A bomb-maker who has previously handled explosives can have residue left on their person or property for an extended time period.
Technologies like FLIR’s TrueTrace™ core have advanced handheld ETDs to the point that they can sense traces of explosive material that are invisible to the naked eye, to levels that fall below a nanogram. A nanogram is 1/1,000,000,000th of the weight of a paperclip.
The ability to detect trace-level evidence makes it possible to screen “first-touch areas” for residue left by someone who has handled explosives.
First-touch areas include surfaces a person would lift, slide, move, zip, tuck, or press. Backpacks, car door handles, keys, tickets, and badges can all be screened for the presence of explosives in as little as ten seconds.
This trace evidence provides actionable intelligence, and can lead to catching a terrorist ahead of the act, rather than after the fact.
(At FLIR Systems we provide superpower vision, helping people around the world save lives, protect the environment, and enhance productivity. Courtesy of FLIR and YouTube)
Fido X2 is equipped with the TrueTrace core and achieves exquisite sensitivity. TrueTrace is a patented, multiplexed luminescence detection technology uniquely formulated to react to multiple classes of explosives.
It detects homemade explosives like Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP), as well as commercial, military and fertilizer-based explosives. It detects emerging explosive formulations without modification, to protect against future threats.
TrueTrace also maximizes system availability during high-threat scenarios with quick three-minute start-up, fast ten-second analysis, and rapid, reliable clear-down that is measured in seconds.
Explosives screening is not always the primary role of a first responder, so it is critical that the user interface make the job easier not harder.
One of the most challenging issues for the first responder community is on-going training. The Fido X2 incorporates innovative features like on-screen commands, on-device video walkthroughs, and clear visual, auditory, and vibrating alerts to guide officers through the entire threat screening process – from power up to detection.
Operators can refresh their understanding at any time through on-device video training from the Help Menu.
The single most important factor enabling deployment of a handheld ETD is the cost.
Fifteen years ago, ETD systems cost well over $50,000 per unit.
The FLIR Fido X2 starts under $10,000 unit, enabling larger municipalities to deploy multiple ETDs and further strengthen security efforts for the cost of a single unit in the previous generation.
For smaller municipalities, ETDs are now attainable. They can be purchased under a single source justification limit, enabling quick purchasing and deployment to interdict the terrorist threat.
Fido X2 Ultra-lightweight Explosives Trace Detector Features & Benefits
- TrueTrace detection in ≤10 seconds
- Detects broad range of threats
- Quick three-minute start-up
- Rapid clear-down in seconds
- Intuitive, go/no-go alarms
- On-screen guided operation
- On-device video training
- Ultra-lightweight <1.5 lbs.
- Reusable sampling swipes
- No radioactive ionization source
- No hazardous chemicals
FLIR Systems, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness. We bring innovative sensing solutions into daily life through our thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locator systems, measurement and diagnostic systems, and advanced threat detection systems.
Our products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance public safety and well-being, increase energy efficiency, and enable healthy and entertained communities.