DETECTION OF EXPLOSIVES FOR COMMERCIAL AVIATION SECURITY

Committee on Commercial Aviation Security

National Materials Advisory Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

Publication NMAB-471

National Academy Press
1993



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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security DETECTION OF EXPLOSIVES FOR COMMERCIAL AVIATION SECURITY Committee on Commercial Aviation Security National Materials Advisory Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council Publication NMAB-471 National Academy Press 1993

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security 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 report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of 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. Frank Press 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. Robert M White 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study by the National Materials Advisory Board was conducted under Contract No. DTFA9O3-88-C-00021 with the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Library of Congress Catalog Number 93-84550 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04945-8 This report is available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, P.O. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 1-800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (In Washington Metropolitan Area) B-169 Printed in the United States of America

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security COMMITTEE ON COMMERCIAL AVIATION SECURITY Chairman JOHN D. BALDESCHWIELER, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Members ALFRED BLUMSTEIN, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania STANLEY S. HANNA, Stanford University, Stanford, California DAVID MILLIGAN, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois NORMAN SLAGG, U.S. Army ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey MICHAEL STORY, Northwest Instrument Systems, Inc., Richland, Washington HARVEY E. WEGNER, (Retired) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York Liaison Representatives LEO T. POWELL, Jr., FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Technical Consultants JOSEPH A. NAVARRO, JAN Associates, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland JEFFERY EBERHARD, GE Corporate R&D, Schenectady, New York NMAB Staff ROBERT E. SCHAFRIK, Acting Director JANICE M. PRISCO, Project Assistant

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security PANEL ON TEST PROTOCOL & PERFORMANCE CRITERIA Chairman MICHAEL STORY, Northwest Instrument Systems, Inc. , Richland, Washington Members JONATHAN W. AMY, West Lafayette, Indiana ARTHUR FRIES, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia BRUCE R. KOWALSKI, University of Washington, Seattle HAROLD MCNAIR, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg DAVID MILLIGAN, Abbott Laboratory, Abbott, Illinois HARVEY E. WEGNER, (Retired) Brookhaven National Laboratories, Upton, New York PANEL ON SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE Chairman JOHN D. BALDESCHWIELER, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Members ALFRED BLUMSTEIN, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania STANLEY M. HANNA, Stanford University, Stanford, California WILFRED A. JACKSON, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks RICHARD H. JUDY, Richard H. Judy & Associates, Miami, Florida JOHN R. ORR, Delta Airlines, Atlanta, Georgia NORMAN SLAGG, U.S. Army ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security ABSTRACT (U) The threat posed to commercial aviation by small, concealed explosive devices is particularly severe since they are difficult to detect using current techniques and can readily cause tremendous destruction and loss of life. Protecting air travelers from terrorist actions is an essential mission of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA plays a critical role in defining the terrorist threat, stimulating the development of explosive detection devices and systems, and in regulating their use. (U) The key issues for the FAA regarding explosive detection technology are: What can the different detection methods do in principle? That can they actually do in practice? How can the different methods be best employed to counter the terrorist threat? (U) This report of the Committee on Commercial Aviation Security addresses the above issues from a detection technology perspective. It discusses and assesses system considerations, testing protocols and performance criteria, and recent explosive detection technology developments.

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security DEDICATION This report is dedicated to the memory of Dr. John Sheehan,who was Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry at MIT, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a former member of this committee. Dr. Sheehan had many accomplishments in his lifetime. He is perhaps best known as being the first to synthesize penicillin. In 1941 he was codeveloper of the large scale method for manufacturing the highly energetic "plastic" explosive, known as RDX. His contributions to this committee, in the aftermath of the tragic bombing of Pan Am 103, transcended his knowledge of the chemistry and synthesis of energetic materials. He worked selfishly and tirelessly in helping to define, for the FAA's Security Technology Program, the "right things to do" to prevent another Pan Am 103. He significantly contributed to this committee's previous report Reducing the Risk of Explosives on Commercial Aircraft. Many of the insights provided by Dr. Sheehan have been extended in this report. He set an example of service and dedication for all of us to follow. John D. Baldeschwieler Chairman Committee on Commercial Aviation Security

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security PREFACE Since its creation in 1958, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Department of Transportation has had the responsibility for ensuring the safety of air travel. The FAA establishes security requirements in response to an assessment of a variety of threats, and then ensures compliance. An important FAA goal is reducing future vulnerability of the civil air transport system to terrorist threats by employing appropriate procedural and technical means to detect and counter the threats. The development of systems and devices to prevent or deter hijacking or sabotage against civil aviation was first authorized in the Air Transportation Security Act of 19741, also known as the "Antihijacking Act of 1974." As part of its obligation under this Act, the FAA began a research and development program that emphasized the development of devices to protect air travelers against acts of criminal violence and aircraft piracy. The FAA's role in aviation security was expanded in 1985 with the passage of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act2. The FAA was required to assess the adequacy of security at foreign airports served by U.S. carriers, and the security procedures of foreign air carriers flying to and from the United States. This law also provided for the expansion of the FAA's research and development program. In March 1988, the FAA requested that the National Research Council's National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB), of the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems initiate a study to assist the FAA Technical Center in evaluating near-term and long-term technical programs relating to instrumental methods for detecting concealed explosives, with the emphasis on highly energetic, "plastic" explosive materials in checked baggage. These methods exploit one or more material properties of an explosive for detection purposes. Soon afterward, in December 1988, the critical national importance of explosive detection was highlighted by the terrorist bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. 1   Public Law 93-366; August 5, 1974. 2   Public Law 99-83; August 8, 1985

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security The NMAB established the Committee on Commercial Aviation Security, composed of ten experts in the areas of chemistry, physics, materials science, explosive materials, sophisticated analytical instrumentation, forensic science, and ordnance. The committee met eight times, and was briefed about current and proposed programs by FAA officials, FAA-funded contractors, and others. The committee was apprised of the efforts of other federal agencies concerned with related problems. An unclassified, limited-attendance workshop was conducted on "Instrumental Methods for Detection of Explosives" to elicit new ideas from the community at large. This committee published its findings in the 1990 report, Reducing the Risk of Explosives on Commercial Aircraft (U), NMAB-463 (classified Confidential).3 The committee's primary conclusion was that "there does not appear to be any single detection technology that can provide levels of sensitivity and specificity that will have both a significant effect on reducing the threat and an acceptable impact on airport operations." The report then analyzed a number of detection technologies and provided broad priorities for allocation of funding. The committee's recommendations were: Define a search strategy to optimize the mix of technologies available. This recommendation leads to consideration of a systems approach which employs layers of different devices which have orthogonal detection capability. Implement low-technology improvements. These methods include positive bag-to-passenger matching and passenger profiling/interviewing. Define performance criteria for detection systems. The committee suggested, as a guide for an overall systems architecture, a minimum level of sensitivity and specificity, a minimum detectable amount of plastic explosives, vapor detection sensitivity range, and bag through-put rate. Explore reinforcing baggage containers to increase the maximum charge that can be contained at altitude. Straightforward reinforcing of baggage containers, as well as use of compressible padding material, were suggested to harden baggage containers against small explosive charges. Improvements to the aircraft fuselage were suggested as a long term effort. 3   A Summary (unclassified) of the report was also published. It contains the report's Abstract, Preface, and Executive Summary.

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security Establish standardized operational tests for all explosives detection systems. A FAA standardized test facility was recommended. A three phase testing approach was suggested: determine minimum detection capability of the system using pure explosive materials; test the performance of the system using pure material plus likely interferrents; and conduct field tests under airport operational conditions with a variety of bags containing explosives, interferrents, and no explosives. Develop standard positive controls for solid and vapor detectors. The reliable generation of very minute, defined quantities of explosive vapor was found to be a difficult problem, but essential to providing a positive control for routine checks of instruments. Take advantage of systems integration opportunities for vapor detectors. The best stages from several commercial instruments could be combined by an integrating contractor to produce an overall superior instrument. Explore the concept of tagging explosives and detonators to make them easily detectable. Small quantities of materials could be added to explosives and detonators to make them more observable by relatively inexpensive means. Continue to support the exploration and development of new methods that may be applicable to explosives detection. The FAA was found to have either supported or monitored the appropriate technologies; continued funding of advanced techniques to provide future options was deemed to be very desirable. Program priorities to implement the above recommendations included: Establish an explosive detection systems analysis and architecture group. Demonstrate passenger/luggage correlation schemes. Solicit and fund proposals for an aircraft hardening analysis. Establish an operational testing facility. Solicit and fund proposals for developing positive controls for bulk and vapor phase systems. Select a prime contractor or systems architect for vapor phase systems. Solicit and fund proposals to demonstrate explosive tagging schemes. Solicit and fund exploratory research proposals for new methods of explosive detection.

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security During the course of the previous NMAB study, in response to the tragic loss of Pan Am 103, Presidential Executive Order 12686 established the ''President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism.'' One of the main recommendations in the R&D area was:4 "FAA should undertake a vigorous effort to marshal the necessary expertise to develop and test effective explosive-detection systems." The Aviation Security Improvement Act of 19905 was enacted, in large measure, to implement the recommendations of the President's Commission. The Act directs the FAA to6 "accelerate and expand the research, development, and the implementation of technologies and procedures to counteract terrorist acts against civil aviation." The Act further requires that the FAA not mandate the deployment or purchase of explosive detection equipment unless7 ". . . based on the results of tests conducted pursuant to protocols developed in consultation with experts from outside the Federal Aviation Administration, such equipment alone or as part of an integrated system can detect under realistic air carrier operating conditions . . . explosive material which would be likely to be used to cause catastrophic damage to commercial aircraft." The FAA requested that the Committee on Commercial Aviation Security be extended to provide advice regarding the implementation of the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990 in two key areas: systems analysis and architecture for explosive detection systems that could inspect passenger baggage, and the development of test protocols and performance criteria for such systems. The committee formed two panels corresponding to these areas. The panels met concurrently. Just as before, the committee and panels were briefed about current and proposed programs by FAA officials, FAA-funded contractors, and others. They were updated regarding the efforts of other federal agencies concerned with related problems. Visits to several facilities were made to gain first-hand knowledge about program details and representatives of the FAA periodically reported testing results. The committee and panels met nine times between November 1990 and September 1992. During the course of this study, much was learned about the complexity and variability of this environment in which an explosive detection system must successfully operate, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the 4   Report on the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, May 15, 1990, page 122. 5   Public Law 101-604, November 16, 1990. 6   Public Law 101-604, Section 107, "Research and Development, Part (3), "Program to Accelerate Research." 7   Public Law 101-604, Section 108, "Deployment of Explosive Detection Equipment."

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security different detection approaches. The committee concludes that the effective detection of small quantities of high performance "plastic" explosive materials in a busy commercial airport environment continues to be an extremely difficult problem, most likely requiring more than one detection instrument. Practical issues of affordability, reliability, maintainability, etc., will assume major importance as the technology matures to the point that an informed implementation decision can be made. A key recommendation addresses the importance of developing powerful simulation tools to allow users to experiment with the architecture of an explosive detection system, and to gain an understanding of the effect that various changes would have on airport operations and system effectiveness. Another key recommendation emphasizes the need for a comprehensive explosive detection system (EDS) certification program that establishes requirements, verifies vendor specifications, certifies operational performance, and monitors systems deployed in the field. The regulatory approach should provide for sustained integrity of explosive detection systems while encouraging technological and operational evolution. The committee was consulted on a general protocol for testing instrumental methods that detect bulk properties of explosives. The protocol, contained in Appendix A, is a starting point for developing detailed test procedures to certify or verify the performance of a system or device. The final section of the report provides an update on some specific technologies currently under development for the detection of explosive materials. Broad investment strategy priorities are suggested to assist the FAA in balancing the effort required for the many technology options. This report is written to be a companion to the previous report. To the extent possible, there is little duplication of information in this report. Where appropriate, the information in the previous report has been updated, particularly with respect to the developments of the instrumental methods. John Baldeschwieler Chairman

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee is especially grateful to the individuals who made formal presentations to the committee. At the fourth committee meeting, Richard Richman, Dean Fetterolf, and Frederic Whitehurst, FBI, Department of Justice, gave a presentation on demonstration of Explosive Vapor Detection Techniques; Russell Lease and L. D. "Buck" Goodrich, INEL (Idaho Falls), gave a presentation on the testing facility at Idaho Falls; Jay Stein, Kris Krug and S. David Ellenbogen gave a presentation on Dual Energy X-ray Technique. At the fifth committee meeting, Steven Smith, IRT Corporation, gave a presentation on Secure 1000 personnel Scanning Systems; and Richard Grogan, Symbol Technologies, Inc., gave a presentation on Bar-Code Technology. At the sixth committee meeting, Brian Kushner and Sam Fairchild of BDM Corporation, described Inelastic Neutron Scattering (NES) Technology; Donald Watson, Contraband Detection International, talked to the committee about how does one get the various explosive detection techniques into the field? William Davidson, Sciex, reviewed the Condor Detection System; Ken Wood, Barringer Company, gave a presentation on ion mobility spectromety (IMS) for detecting explosives; Martin Annis and Richard Sesnewicz, AS&E, described their company's EDS x-ray imaging system; R. Bruce Miller, Titan/Spectron Company, talked to the committee on energetic x-rays to activate nitrogen in explosives; Joseph Ternes, Veterans Administration, talked to the committee on the use of dogs for explosive detection. At the seventh committee meeting Donald Greenlee, SAIC, Inc., introduced the subject of simulation of systems architecture, and Mike Smith, demonstrated SAIC's computer-based simulation program; Gloria Bender, American Airlines Decision Technologies, gave a presentation on Use of Simulation Analysis in Evaluating the Operational Impact of Security Systems; David Fine, Thermedics, gave a presentation on Vapor System Integration, Testing, and Evaluation; Tony Feinberg, Stanford University (on leave from OTA), presented and summarized two reports on terrorism; Ruszard Gajewski, and Taiwei Lu, Physical Optics Corporation, presented a talk on Optical Neural Networks Applied to Pattern Recognition; Norman Miller, ScanTech, along with

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security William Mayo and Richard Mammone, Rutgers University, reported to the committee on Coherent X-Ray Powder Diffraction; John Davies, INEL, gave a presentation on Explosive Vapors Test Results; Paul Schmor, TRIMUF—Canada, gave a presentation on Advanced Systems Development. At the eighth committee meeting, John Hicks, and James Thurman, FBI, Quantico, VA, gave a presentation on the Pan Am 103 Investigation; John Davies, INEL, presented an update of the FAA IV&V Programs at INEL; Moshen Sanai, SRI, briefed the committee on SRI Container Hardening; Russ Lease, INEL, gave a presentation on Potential Future Terrorist Threats; Tsahi Gozani, SAIC, presented an overview of SAIC's Fast Neutron Analyses (PFNA). At the ninth and final committee meeting, Paul Bjorkholm, EG&G Astrophysics, briefed the committee on Russian TNA Advances, and updated information on dual energy/dual view x-ray systems; Ann Grow, Sparta, gave a presentation on using fiber-optics and bio-chemical sensors to detect minute quantities of chemicals; Rokaya Al-Ayat, on sabbatical from Los Alamos National Lab to the University of California-Berkeley, presented a Framework for Assessing Operational Impacts of Aviation Security Systems. The committee would like to express its sincere appreciation to the staff members of the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation who actively participated in committee meetings. The chairman thanks each committee member for dedicating time and enthusiasm in preparing this report. The liaison members are particularly thanked for providing valuable support and data throughout the course of this study. Finally, special thanks go to Robert E. Schafrik, NMAB program officer, and Janice Prisco, project assistant, whose dedicated efforts made possible the production of this report.

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security CONTENTS     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   SYSTEMS CONSIDERATIONS   15     A. Introduction   15     B. EDS Architecture and Search Strategy   15     C. Simulation of EDS Designs   17 2   Testing Protocols And Performance Criteria   23     A. Introduction   23     B. Role of Testing in the FAA Regulatory Process   24     C. Testing Organization   26     D. Test Planning and Preparation   26     E. A General Testing Protocol for Bulk Explosive Detection Systems   29     F. The Status of Vapor and Particle Detection Test Protocols   32     References   35     Appendixes         A. A General Testing Protocol for Bulk Explosive Detection Systems   37     B. Glossary of Terms   81     C. Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   85

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table ES-1   Summary of Explosive Detection Devices (EDD)   8-9 Table 1.1   Airport Terminal Site Selection Factors   20 Table 2.1   Certification Versus Verification Operational Testing   31 Figure 2.1   EDS Certification Testing   30

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Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security DETECTION OF EXPLOSIVES FOR COMMERCIAL AVIATION SECURITY