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High-Throughput Walkthrough Detection Portal as a Measure for Counter Terrorism: Design of a Vapor Sampler for Detecting Triacetone Triperoxide Vapor by Atmospheric-Pressure Chemical-Ionization Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometry

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8 Author(s)
Yasuaki Takada ; Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan ; Yasutaka Suzuki ; Hisashi Nagano ; Masuyuki Sugiyama
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Aiming to prevent terrorist attacks in places where many people are coming and going, we have been developing a “high-throughput detection portal system.” The portal system consists of a vapor sampler, an atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization ion source, and an explosives detector based on ion-trap mass spectrometry. The vapor sampler was designed to be installed in an automated ticket gate of a train station. By optimizing the shape of the nozzle that controls the air flow of the vapor sampler, triacetone triperoxide (TATP) vapor could be detected at a high throughput, i.e., 1200 persons/hour. The false-positive rate of the detection portal system for TATP was evaluated by a field test performed at a train station. A multi-marker logic to determine whether TATP existed or not was adopted, and no false-positive alarms were obtained for over 3000 passengers during the field test. However, acetone, which is an inflammable liquid, was accidentally detected from the passengers during the field test. It is concluded from this detection result that this detection portal system is useful for detecting dangerous chemicals that have high vapor pressure (such as TATP and inflammable liquids) in places where many people are coming and going.

Published in:

IEEE Sensors Journal  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 6 )