Advanced 1064 nm Raman Used to Counter Threats in Transportation Screening

New Explosive Threats and Deadly Narcotics

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In June 2018, in response to a foiled terrorist plot in Australia and long-standing concerns about improvised explosive devices (IED) containing powder explosives, the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) announced and implemented new screening requirements. Passengers with carry-on baggage containing powdered materials in quantities above 12 oz (350 milliliters), the capacity of a soda can, could be subject to additional screening. U.S.-bound flights from 280 international airports are now required to implement these new screening requirements.

Combustible powders can present in many forms, from fertilizer to mining grade explosives. In addition to those that could pose a threat when used in IEDs, security operators in airports, law enforcement and customs operations are also concerned with illicit narcotics in powdered form. The transport of deadly narcotic opioids, such as fentanyls, pose dangers to screeners and passengers alike. Fentanyl derivatives, like carfentanyl, are lethal in quantities as small as a single gram. These opioids present danger to law enforcement when interdicted or discovered. New Raman analyzers can play a role in preventing unnecessary or unintentional exposure of fi rst responders, law enforcement, and the public, to this danger.