The Next Generation of Explosives Trace Detection Is Here

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Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security

October 7, 2022 | Originally published by Department of Homeland Security on October 6, 2022

The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has always placed a special focus on aviation security. That’s one of the reasons why the work that is being done by S&T’s Next Generation (NextGen) Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) program team is such a high priority.

The sophisticated research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) that S&T performs is changing the scientific and security landscape. In coordination with government, academic, and industry partners, S&T is relentlessly committed to helping bring a variety of cutting-edge solutions to the field.

Launched in fiscal year 2020, NextGen ETD expanded the scope of a previous program to meet evolving operational needs at aviation checkpoints. This has resulted in the advancement of technologies that can quickly and accurately collect and analyze samples in a variety of ways, including direct contact with the subject, noncontact sampling via vapors, and even through barriers.

To best grasp the role this innovative tech plays in securing the skies, one must first understand where and when they are used.

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