ELITE: easy Livermore inpection tester for explosives

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International terrorist activity has increased mark-edly in recent years, spurring demand by security agencies worldwide for efficient, accurate explo-sives detection capabilities. To meet this need, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) perfected a disposable, portable, highly accurate explosives detector. The Easy Livermore Inspec-tion Tester for Explosives (ELITE) is a simple, chemical-based, field useable spot-test to rapidly screen for a broad range of trace explosive mate-rials. The ELITE detection card is highly sensitive to more than 30 explosives, (more) making it one of the most effective detection systems available.Using colorimetric chemistry, ELITE provides real-time analysis for airport screeners, border patrol officers, security agents, and first responders, in-cluding firefighters and law enforcement. The portable design of the ELITE does not require a fixed power source, thus making it ideal for field use. The detection card has been shown to have a high degree of sensitivity toward most explosives, with few false-negative/positive readings. The card includes a unique swipe material, chemical-containing ampoules, and a separate heat gener-ator. A first responder need only brush a suspect surface with the disposable swipe and break the am-poules to release chemical reagents onto the swipe. If the swipe changes color, explosives are present. The design of the card is uncomplicated, allowing use even in very tumultuous environments. The ELITE detection technology was developed and tested in LLNL’s Forensic Science (FSC) and Energetic Materials Center and was transferred to Field Forensics, a small Florida company that develops tools to serve first responders and lab technicians who require rapid testing results. Field Forensics is manufacturing 500 ELITE cards for DHS and began delivery in October 2005. In autumn 2005, Field Forensics introduced the ELITE detection card and associated technology to a broader audience at an annual security con-ference attended by many state law enforcement agencies. (less)