Statement of Task Review of Existing and Potential Standoff Explosives Detection Techniques
To assist DARPA in its efforts to develop more effective, flexible explosive and bomb detection systems, the NRC will examine the scientific techniques currently used as the basis for explosives detection, and consider whether other fundamentally different chemical, physical, radiological, systems analysis, or other techniques might provide promising research avenues with possible pathways to new detection protocols. This review will:
Describe the characteristics of explosives, bombs, and their components that are or might be used to provide a signature for exploitation in detection technology.
Consider scientific techniques for exploiting these characteristics to detect explosives and explosive devices. Particular consideration must be given to discriminating possible signals from the background and interferents that can be anticipated in real applications.
Discuss the potential for integrating such techniques into detection systems that would have sufficient sensitivity without an unacceptable false positive rate. In proposing possible detection protocols, give consideration to trade-offs between desirable system characteristics, including relative ease of implementation.
Propose areas for research that might be expected to yield significant advances in practical explosives and bomb detection technology in the near, mid, and long term.