1st Detect, a subsidiary of Astrotech, has had its new explosives trace detector (ETD), the TRACER 1000, accepted into the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s Air Cargo Screening Technology Qualification Test (ACSQT) programme.
“This represents a major step toward inclusion on TSA’s exclusive Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL) and having the TRACER 1000 used at cargo facilities worldwide,” said 1stDetect and Astrotech CEO Thomas Pickens.
In 2007, the 9/11 Commission Act mandated that 100 per cent of air cargo loaded onto passenger aircraft must be screened for explosives. The challenge of doing so has only increased in recent years, largely due to a worldwide increase in cargo traffic. Earlier this month, two homemade explosives were shipped via FedEx: one detonated inside a sorting center, injuring a worker, while the other forced the shutdown of a FedEx center near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
With a virtually unlimited library of detectable threats and a near-zero false alarm rate, 1st Detect’s next-generation, mass spectrometry-based ETD was designed to enable air carriers, freight forwarders, shippers and independent cargo facilities to stay ahead of evolving threats while optimizing cargo throughput.
“The recent events that took place in our own backyard only underpin the importance of cargo facilities everywhere having the latest technology for rapidly and accurately detecting explosive threats,” said 1stDetect COO and Astrotech Raj Mellacheruvu