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Homeland Security Laboratory Conducts Explosive Sparks Research

Dept. of Homeland Security

A Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) researcher adjusts a high-speed video camera to evaluate energetic material responses to electrostatic discharge. (Photo credit: TSL)

The Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) conducts applied research on the physiochemical properties of explosives and other volatile elements, including characterizing the sensitivity of materials such as homemade explosives to shocks and impacts. The laboratory has adapted state-of-the-art technology to decades-old testing processes, and in 2018 was awarded a patent (US 9,970,879) as “Apparatus and Method of Determining a Reaction Sensitivity Threshold of Materials to Electrostatic Discharge.”

The TSL, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, protects our nation’s civilian air transportation systems. By virtue of its accomplished experts, cutting-edge facilities and partnerships, TSL offers the homeland security community and transportation security partners the ability to advance detection technology from conception to deployment through applied research, test and evaluation, assessment, and certification testing.

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