New Signatures for Explosive Detection for Aviation security

The final report for this workshop is available at:

The main focus of ADSA09 was emerging signatures for detecting explosives. This workshop took place on May 7-8, 2013.

The term signature, in this context, means either a new form of interrogation (e.g., Muon Tomography) or a variation of extant forms of interrogation (e.g., spectral CT). The interrogation includes analysis of detected information to generate signatures that can be used to indicate the presence of explosives without generating significant numbers of false alarms. Applications for the new signatures include direct inspection of checked baggage, divested items at the check point, passengers, cargo or in standoff situations. The systems could be stand-alone (e.g., satisfying all of a TSA requirement specification) or fused with other technologies.

Presentations addressed the following topics

  • Phenomenology being exploited for explosive detection
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the method over other methods
  • Limitations based on concealment, containment, explosive type, minimum mass and other factors
  • Time and barriers for commercialization
  • Concept of operations and applications