Combating Terrorism with Mass Spectrometry — Screening People for Explosives
In this article, we review the capabilities and challenges of deploying mass spectrometry (MS) to homeland security screening requirements. The fidelity of MS for chemical analysis is well accepted; however, the effectiveness of an overall system in real-world work environments depends on solving big challenges in sample collection, speed of analysis, and ease-of-use, and maintaining continuous reliability. We compare MS to the more commonly used security method of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and illustrate the significant improvements that MS can provide. We then describe one of the first introductions of MS in homeland security, that being the screening of people for concealed explosives using a walk-through portal device.