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A new explosives trace detector will provide solutions for the challenge of rapidly screening passengers and cargo in airports.

The TRACER 1000 detector is based on mass-spectrometry, a technique for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of matter particles.

TRACER 1000 can detect a number of substances that include peroxides, explosive materials, fentanyls, heroine, and cocaine. This according to   

With a similar CONOPS (concept of operations) and standard swab sampling mechanism to collect trace samples from surfaces, the device was designed to replace the current generation of IMS-based explosives trace detectors currently deployed at airports, cargo inspection depots, and other high-security facilities globally.

US-based Astrotech has announced that the TRACER 1000  has passed the European Civil Aviation Conference’s (ECAC) common evaluation process (CEP) for airport checkpoint screening of passengers, according to

It is said to be the first mass spectrometry-based explosives trace detector (ETD) to have passed ECAC’s laboratory testing protocol.

ECAC is the European regulator on aviation security and is the equivalent of the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

After receiving formal certification at the CEP Management Group’s next meeting, Astrotech plans to start offering TRACER 1000 to airports worldwide.

In January, the TRACER 1000 was accepted by ECAC into European evaluation process for security screening in airports.

Thomas Pickens III, CEO of 1st Detect, the wholly owned subsidiary of Astrotech, said: “ECAC’s support throughout this process demonstrates their commitment to setting the global standard of security by adopting the most advanced explosives detection technology.

“The TRACER 1000 was designed to improve safety and enhance the airport experience for travellers and personnel by reducing wait times at security checkpoints.”

“We look forward to improving the safety of the world’s air transportation systems with our high-quality instruments for many years to come.”

Another official from Astrotech stated: “Passing ECAC’s CEP test for airport checkpoint screening of passengers is an important validation of our technology.”