skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 178261     Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of a Test Protocol for Explosives Trace Detectors Using a Representative Commercial Analyzer: NIJ Report 100-99
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): Gary A. Eiceman ; Cecily M. Boyett ; John E. Parmeter
Corporate Author: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
United States of America

Sandia National Laboratories
United States of America
Date Published: 09/1999
Page Count: 34
  Annotation: A test protocol for evaluating trace explosives detectors was assessed in a laboratory setting with a nonspecialist to determine its usefulness for law enforcement personnel with an interest in detection of drugs or explosives but without the training or background of specialists.
Abstract: The test protocol was contained in NIJ Guide 100-99, titled "A Guide for Selection of Commercial Explosives Detection Systems" for Law Enforcement Applications and was developed at Sandia National Laboratories in fiscal year 1998. The test protocol gave the essential steps of operating a trace chemical analyzer, preparing samples, maintaining records of measurements, and interpreting the results. The protocol was written to be as generic as possible. The assessment focused on discovering flaws or pragmatic barriers to the application of the test protocol, both in the written descriptions of principles and in the procedures provided to evaluate trace detectors. A nonspecialist with an undergraduate education in chemistry made the tests to determine if the proposed methods were realistic, clearly presented, and technically sound. The nonspecialist prepared stock solutions for TNT, RDX, and PETN for use on a commercial detector, the Itemiser from Ion Track Instruments, Inc. Results suggested that analyzers that come to a user from uncertain conditions of use or storage should be assessed to ensure performance as designed and delivered originally. Results also suggested the need for an added page of cautions in the test protocol. Overall, findings indicated that the test protocol was realistic and usable by a nonspecialist in ion mobility spectrometry analyzers, although with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Thus, the test protocol is a reasonable attempt to bring order to the comparison of trace detector evaluations. Figures, list of symbols and abbreviations, and appended discussion of the Itemiser and ion mobility spectrometry
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Evidence collection ; Evidence identification and analysis ; Research methods ; Specifications ; Science and Technology ; Explosives ; Equipment evaluation ; Services effectiveness ; Explosive detection ; Technical evolution ; Scientific techniques ; Explosives training ; Evidence technicians
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
National Institute of Justice
Office of Science and Technology
United States of America
Contract Number: 94-IJ-R-004
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)
700 N. Frederick Ave.
Bldg. 181, Room 1L30
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.