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The system is able to implement different explosive screening operations, such as inspection of containers or pallets. We will describe in the following the Truck screening operation:

The analyzer delivers results at a rate of 30 analyses per hour, while sampling operations could take up to 10 minutes per sample. In order to optimize system throughput, up to 5 sampler operators could be used for each analyzer operator. Number of sampler operators will be determined by the number of trucks which need to be inspected Detection is fully automatic, no operator interpretation is required.


The operational performance to be demonstrated for the proposed equipment is shown in Table below.

Capability Metric
Weight 300 Kg
Environmental The equipment can be stored between -40ºC and +55ºC
Operating environment The equipment is built from two components: The sampler and the analyzer. The sampler has been designed for outdoors usage and it has been tested in some adverse meterological conditions, for instance, it can work in heavy rain scenarios. The analyzer requires a typical office environment, with air conditioning, a temperature range between 15ºC and 25ºC, and humidity between 40% and 80%
Physical footprint Sampler size: 40 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm
Analyser size: 200 cm x 180 cm x 40 cm
Radiation footprint No radiation source is present
Operators requirement Operation of the system will be optimized with five (5) sampler operators and one (1) analyser operator per turn
Maximum truck size The system is designed for analysis of trucks with 100 m3 of cargo bay. Other configurations which might be suitable for each specific Client will be studied
Installation time Minimum hours by number of people for:
1. Assembly: 2 people 5 hours
2. Start-up: 1 person 1 hour. NOTE: the system requires 24 h in order to reach the vacuum level required for operation; such process is done unattended
3. Calibration: 1 person 1/2 hour
The analyzer can be moved within airport facilities without assembly and disassembly, but each time it is moved, 24 hours of non-operation must follow
Power requirements 30A 110VAC or 15A 220VAC, 50-60 Hz
Screening throughput The system allows 30 analyses per hour. Each of these analyses can be carried out on complete cargo trucks up to 100 m3, on aviation containers, or on skids
Control interface The Operator User Interface has two Panels: The "Status Panel", which shows system variables related to the analyser working conditions, such as temperatures and pressures, and the "Detector Analysis Panel", which shows the levels of the targeted explosives, if detected
Detection The equipment is a trace explosive detector, based on a serial combination of Differential Mobility Analyses (DMA) and Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS). The system detects explosive molecules present in the pallets as vapor. Minimum detection level is 0,1 ppq (10^-16 v/v). When an alarm is launched, the Operator is informed of the molecule of explosive found, its concentration (ppq), and a "quality" figure. No Operator interpretation is used, nor required
Calibration requirements A calibration operation is to be launched once every 24 hours, and requires 15 minutes
Time required for training A two-day training course is scheduled
Projected maintenance Assuming 105 hours of operation per week, projected MTBF for the equipment is 1,000 hours
Certifications The equipment will be certified in the first quarter of 2011 in a qualified European certification agency
Patents The equipment is protected by the following patents and patents applications:
  1. US Patent 5,936,242 Titled: "Method and Apparatus for Separation of Ions in a Gas for Mass Spectrometry"
  2. US Patent 5,869,831 Titled: "Method and Apparatus for Separation of Ions in a Gas for Mass Spectrometry"
  3. US Patent 6,787,763 Titled: "Method and Apparatus to Increase the Resolution and Widen the Range of Differential Mobility Analyzers"
  4. US Patent 7,626,161 Titled: "Ion mobility separation devices"
  5. WO2008/125463 Titled: "Resolution improvement in the coupling of planar differential mobility analyzers with mass spectrometers or other analyzers and detectors"
  6. WO2008/101998 Titled: "Method to accurately discriminate gas phase ions with several filtering devices in tandem"
  7. US/PTO 11/732,770 Titled: "Method for detecting volatile species of high molecular weight"
  8. US/PTO 61/204,996 Titled: "Improved ionizer for vapor analysis decoupling the ionization region from the analyzer"

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