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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
×

OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE AIRPORT PASSENGER SCREENING WITH MASS SPECTROMETRY

Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation

National Materials Advisory Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. DTFA03-99-C-00006 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

A limited number of copies of this report are available from the National Materials Advisory Board, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Keck WS932, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-3505 or (202) 334-3718; Internet, http://www.nas.edu/nmab

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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COMMITTEE ON ASSESSMENT OF SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES FOR TRANSPORTATION

THOMAS S. HARTWICK, Chair, Consultant,

Snohomish, Washington

SANDRA L. HYLAND, Vice Chair,

Tokyo Electrons Massachusetts

CHERYL A. BITNER,

AAI Corporation, Phoenix, Maryland

DONALD E. BROWN,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

COLIN G. DRURY,

State University of New York, Buffalo

PATRICK GRIFFIN,

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

JIRI JANATA,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

LEN LIMMER, Consultant,

Oak Point, Texas

HARRY E. MARTZ, JR.,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

RICHARD McGEE,

Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

JAMES F. O’BRYON,

The O’Bryon Group, Belair, Maryland

RICHARD L. ROWE,

Safeview, Saratoga, California

ERIC R. SCHWARTZ,

The Boeing Company, Huntington, California

ELIZABETH H. SLATE,

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston

MICHAEL STORY, Consultant,

Los Gatos, California

National Materials Board Liaison

SHEILA F. KIA,

General Motors, Warren, Michigan

NRC Staff

JAMES KILLIAN, Study Director

TERI G. THOROWGOOD, Research Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
×

NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD

JULIA M. PHILLIPS, Chair,

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

JOHN ALLISON,

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

PAUL BECHER,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

BARBARA BOYAN,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

ROBERT J. CAVA,

Princeton Materials Institute, Princeton, New Jersey

FIONA DOYLE,

University of California, Berkeley

GARY FISCHMAN, Consultant,

Palatine, Illinois

HAMISH L. FRASER,

Ohio State University, Columbus

JOHN J. GASSNER,

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center, Natick, Massachusetts

THOMAS S. HARTWICK, Consultant,

Redmond, Washington

ARTHUR H. HEUER,

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

FRANK E. KARASZ,

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

SHEILA F. KIA,

General Motors, Warren, Michigan

ENRIQUE J. LAVERNIA,

University of California, Davis

TERRY LOWE,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

ALAN G. MILLER,

Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Seattle, Washington

ROBERT C. PFAHL, JR.,

National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, Herndon, Virginia

HENRY J. RACK,

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

LINDA SCHADLER,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

JAMES C. SEFERIS,

University of Washington, Seattle

T.S. SUDARSHAN,

Materials Modification, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia

JULIA WEERTMAN,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

NRC Staff

TONI MARECHAUX, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
×

Preface

The government agency charged with implementing technology for countering terrorist attacks is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it, has invested extensively in the development and deployment of technological and procedural systems to protect the traveling public. In support of its mission, TSA tasked the National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) of the National Research Council (NRC) with convening a committee that would assess a variety of technological opportunities for protecting the U.S. transportation system. Accordingly, NMAB convened the Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation.

STATEMENT OF TASK

TSA prepared for the committee the following statement of task:

This study will explore opportunities for technology to address national needs for transportation security. While the primary role of the committee is to respond to the government’s request for assessments in particular applications, the committee may offer advice on specific matters as required. The committee will: (1) identify potential applications for technology in transportation security with a focus on likely threats; (2) evaluate technology approaches to threat detection, effect mitigation, and consequence management; and (3) assess the need for research, development, and deployment to enable implementation of new security technologies. These tasks will be done in the context of current, near-term, and long-term requirements. The committee will perform the following specific tasks:

  1. Identify potential applications for technology in transportation security with a focus on likely threats derived from threat analyses that drive security system requirements. Review security system developments structured to meet the changing threat environment. Assess government and commercial industry plans designed to address these threats.

  2. Evaluate technology approaches to threat detection, effect mitigation, and consequence management. Delineate the benefits of the insertion of new technologies into existing security systems. Evaluate the trade-offs between effectiveness and cost, including the cost of changing the security system architectures.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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  1. Assess the need for research, development, and deployment to enable implementation of new security technologies. Review and assess the potential benefit of existing and advanced detection technologies, including scanning technologies, sensing technologies, and the use of computer modeling and databases. Review and assess emerging approaches to effect mitigation and consequence management.

COMMITTEE APPROACH

An overarching goal of the committee is to provide timely reports that meet TSA’s priorities for defeating terrorist threats. The committee judged that this could best be done by issuing a series of short reports on chosen technology applications. In consultation with TSA, the committee selected six topics for review, the first of which is the subject of this report:

  1. Mass spectrometry for enhanced trace detection

  2. Chem/bio sensors and mitigation of threats

  3. Viability of aviation countermeasures against shoulder-launched missiles

  4. Millimeter wave imaging for explosives detection

  5. Machine false alarm reduction

  6. Data fusion and integration for airport terminals

This list may be amended during the course of study if significant new threats arise.

As is apparent from the above list, the committee is focusing on aviation security. Many of the technologies considered will also have application in protecting other transportation modes, and deployment in the aviation security arena is viewed as a valuable testbed for gaining experience that might be applied to other transportation situations. Accordingly, although most of the discussion in this report is directed toward aviation security, the committee believes that it could be adapted for bus terminals, train stations, cruise ships, and so on with relatively minor modifications.

These reports are studies of technological capabilities rather than analyses of specific security system instruments deployed to counter threats. The intent is to discuss, describe, and assess the viability of each technology for threat detection, location, and mitigation in the most fundamental sense. Each report will assess the significance of a technology, and if the technology is found to be significant, the report will suggest a phased R&D and implementation scenario that is likely to result in successful deployment.

The February 2004 discovery of the biological poison ricin in a Senate office building in Washington, D.C., highlights the fact that the terrorist’s arsenal now includes not only all-too-familiar weapons such as small arms and explosives, but also chemical and biological agents. This expanding arsenal demands that policy makers and transportation authorities consider the deployment of new defensive technologies to respond to the new threats. Because the committee believes that mass spectrometry has the potential to extend the capabilities of current trace detection technologies used at airports to address these new threats, it has chosen to make mass spectrometry the subject of its first report.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
×

This study was conducted under the auspices of the NRC’s National Materials Advisory Board. The committee acknowledges the support of the director, Toni Maréchaux, and the board staff. The chair is particularly grateful to key members of the committee, Michael Story and Elizabeth Slate, who, along with the study director, support staff, and publication staff, worked diligently on a demanding schedule to produce this report.

Thomas S. Hartwick, Chair

Sandra L. Hyland, Vice Chair

Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Arnold Barnett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Raymond H. Bittel, The Boeing Company

Gary W. Carriveau, Science Applications International Corporation

Matthias Frank, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Gary L. Glish, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

R. Kenneth Marcus, Clemson University

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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Figures, Table, and Box

FIGURES

2-1

 

The as-deployed Scentinel mass spectrometer trace explosives analyzer,

 

22

2-2

 

Miniaturized mass spectrometer for bio-chem defense,

 

24

2-3

 

Miniaturized mass spectrometer with inlet configuration enabling a single sample to be analyzed by several different MS techniques,

 

26

A-1

 

The resolution of two peaks in an IMS spectrum depends on the separation of their drift times and the width of the peaks at half intensity,

 

36

TABLE

2-1

 

Comparison of the Informing Power of IMS and MS Analytical Techniques,

 

18

BOX

2-1

 

Deployed Mass-Spectrometry-Based Trace Explosives Detector,

 

17

Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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Acronyms and Abbreviations


APL

Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University

ASMS

American Society for Mass Spectrometry


CBMS

chemical and biological mass spectrometer


DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DERA

Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (U.K.)

DMNB

dimethylnitrobenzene

DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid

DNT

dinitrotoluene

DOT

U.S. Department of Transportation


EDS

explosive detection system

EGDN

ethylene glycol dinitrate

ESI

electrospray ionization

ETD

explosive trace detector


FAA

Federal Aviation Administration


GC

gas chromatography


HMTD

hexamethylene triperoxide diamine

HMX

cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine


IMS

ion mobility spectrometer


LC

liquid chromatography


MALDI

matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization

MS

mass spectrometry

MS/MS

multiple stages of mass spectrometry


NG

nitroglycerine

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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NRC

National Research Council

NT

nitrotoluene


PCR

polymerase chain reaction

PD

probability of detection

PETN

pentaerythritol tetranitrate

Pfa

probability of false alarms


QMS

quadrupole mass spectrometer


RDX

cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine


SASP

small acid-soluble protein


TATP

triacetone triperoxide

TFA

trifluoroacetic acid

TNT

trinitrotoluene

TOF

time of flight

TSA

Transportation Security Administration

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2004. Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10996.
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Protection of the traveling public from terrorist threats involving explosives is a major goal of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). For 20 years, the TSA (and the Federal Aviation Administration before it) have been investing in technologies to meet that goal. To support that activity, the TSA has asked the NRC to assess a variety of technological opportunities for offering such protection. The NRC is approaching this assignment by issuing a series of reports on chosen technology applications. This is the first of that series and presents an assessment of mass spectrometry for enhanced trace detection (ETD) of chemicals contained in explosives. The report describes limitations of trace detection in general and the current technologies in particular. It then presents a discussion of the potential for mass spectrometry to improve EDT including challenges faced by such a system, recommendations for starting a program to take advantage of mass spectrometry, and recommendations for a phased implementation plan.

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