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There are several types of devices and methods that can be used to identify explosives. Below are four examples of detection devices:

Particulate Explosives Detector

This is a device approximately 15 x 12 x 5 inches, which requires either AC or battery power. It can detect the following explosives:

This device uses IMS (ion mobility spectroscopy) to detect micron-size particles used in explosives. A sample size of one nanogram is sufficient to be detected.

To use it, swipe the suspected material with a sample cloth or cotton glove. Analysis time is approximately 3 seconds. A visual display will light up with a numerical scale of the materials detected. An audible alarm will sound based on a user-defined threashold.

Portable X-Ray System

This device uses a Polaroid radiographic film to create detailed radiographs of items scanned. It required AC input, or a rechargable battery. To use it, point the lens at the suspected parcel and view the image on the film or screen.

Spray Bomb Detector

A portable spray can used in conjunction with laminated test paper. This method allows detection of both plastic and traditional TNT traces on parcels, hands and fingerprints. The test kit contains the test paper and two cans of spray labelled E and X. To use it, first rub the paper over the suspected item and then spray the paper with the canister labelled E. If the paper turns violet, then there are traces of TNT evident. If there is no reaction, spray the paper with the canister labelled X. If the paper then turns pink, there are traces of plastic explosives.

Bomb Range Detector

This is a car-mounted detector of radio-controlled explosives. The unit automatically scans and transmits on every radio frequency in a one-kilometer radius. When a radio-controlled explosive is in the area, the device jams it to render it harmless until it can be found and defused.

Paraphrased from: "The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook - by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

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