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On January 28, 1987, the field test of two explosive detectors took place. Equipment tested was the Model 97 from ITI and the Scintrex EVD-1. Personnel participating in the evaluation

Captain Larry E. Harmel, Comdr., MSP Airport Division; Lt. Robert L. McWhorter, Assist. Comdr., Airport Division; Sergeant Kenneth Chartrand; Tfc. Ronald Price; Deputy Chief Allen L. Ward and Deputy Fire Marshall Richard G. Labrocco. The test consisted of searches aboard aircraft, on the tarmac and of motor vehicles. Additional searches were conducted inside the terminal building and included those of pay lockers and hold room (pre-board) areas. Continental Airlines Manager, Orlando Berry, provided a DC-8 aircraft for the exercise. Due to the short term availability of the aircraft, both the Model 97 and the EVD-1 evaluated alternately. About a half a dozen bags were placed in the first class seats and overhead baggage area. One of these bags contained sheet explosive and another contained detonator cord.


Tfc. R.E. price searched the aircraft first with the Model 976 and then the EVD-1. The searches were monitored by Deputy Chief Ward, who recorded the results for each machine. Following the on-board search activity an attempt to detect the explosives by sampling air discharged through the "dump valve" was made. This entailed sampling air discharged for the aircraft at an external port (dump valve).

other bags had been lined up on the tarmac, one of which
contained C-4 explosive and another TNT. Again each bag was
scanned by Tfc. Price using the Model 97 and by Sgt. K.
Chartrand using the EVD-1.
The Evaluation Committee found the Scintrex EVD-1 to be
unsuitable for its intended use at BWI Airport. This is due
to the inherent operational limitations of the equipment.
While as reliable as the ITI Model 97, it was found to be too
slow since it is a sample and analyze type instrument. It was
subject to human error and to require manpower resources for
operation which are not feasible.

The Model 97 was found reliable under a wide variety of conditions. It is fully portable and can be deployed upon short notice by a single operator. Operation is simple enough to permit all police personnel to operate it with minimal training.


The Model 97 renders immediate analysis since it is continuous testing instrument. This permits the searching of a large number of articles within a relatively short time. It enables the operator to identify the specific article, area, etc., emitting the suspect vapor, thus eliminating confusion and additional hand searches.



The Evaluation Committee concurred that continuous screening is essential capability of any explosive detections equipment and

unanimous in its findings and recommendations of the Ion Track Instruments, Inc., Model 97

explosive detector for deployment at BWI Airport. other tests have been conducted for the detection capabilities of the Model 97 by organizations such as Aramco Oil Corporation of Houston, British Petroleum and Stone and Webster Engineering. These particular test haven't been presently released. All of the above have reported excellent results for the Model 97 and 85.

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