Definition of "zip-top" bag??

Old Nov 10, 2006, 11:59 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mikeef
Okay, dumb "I was a history and not a chemistry major" question of the day. What would be the time and cost limitations of creating an X-Ray machine that could detect explosives? Why wasn't this done years ago?

Mike
There is no x-ray machine that can detect explosives. An x-ray machine is simply just that: a device that uses x-ray radiation to penetrate an object and represent that object with an image. The EDS used to scan your baggage does not truly detect explosives. What it does is react to certain physical characteristics of objects, which is why it will alarm on a jar of peanut butter. (If you've ever played with C-4, you'd understand.)

ETD machines are better explosives detectors. They react to actual chemical composition. However, many common products have components that are used in explosives. For instance, it is not unusal for an ETD to alarm on a bottle of liquid hand sanitizer. Most hand sanitizers have glycerol/glycerin or a similar derivative. And glycerol/glycerin is one of the components in nitro-glycerin as well as a host of other explosives. The ETD machine defaults on a worst-case scenario, and it's up to a supervisor to mitigate/resolve the situation. Can technological improvements be made to reduce the error tolerance? Perhaps, maybe, probably, but at what cost? Is it worth the cost to develop this type of error-free or less erroneous ETD technology and field them at each of the nation's airports? Or is it more acceptable to live with the error rate and leave it up to a supervisor to resolve the issue?
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 12:02 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mikeef
Okay, dumb "I was a history and not a chemistry major" question of the day. What would be the time and cost limitations of creating an X-Ray machine that could detect explosives? Why wasn't this done years ago?

Mike
I personally think using those puffers to sample the air within the x-ray chamber should be simple and cost effective measure to do detect explosives,
unfortunately the funds required to implement this is tied up in detecting
highly lethal water and shampoo. Not to mention the chocolate milk bottle
from little kids.
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 1:55 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Bart
There is no x-ray machine that can detect explosives. An x-ray machine is simply just that: a device that uses x-ray radiation to penetrate an object and represent that object with an image. The EDS used to scan your baggage does not truly detect explosives. What it does is react to certain physical characteristics of objects, which is why it will alarm on a jar of peanut butter. (If you've ever played with C-4, you'd understand.)

ETD machines are better explosives detectors. They react to actual chemical composition. However, many common products have components that are used in explosives. For instance, it is not unusal for an ETD to alarm on a bottle of liquid hand sanitizer. Most hand sanitizers have glycerol/glycerin or a similar derivative. And glycerol/glycerin is one of the components in nitro-glycerin as well as a host of other explosives. The ETD machine defaults on a worst-case scenario, and it's up to a supervisor to mitigate/resolve the situation. Can technological improvements be made to reduce the error tolerance? Perhaps, maybe, probably, but at what cost? Is it worth the cost to develop this type of error-free or less erroneous ETD technology and field them at each of the nation's airports? Or is it more acceptable to live with the error rate and leave it up to a supervisor to resolve the issue?
It should be possible to create a conveyor-belt-like device that has a puffer-like device that then feeds the puffed items into the X-ray. Of course that probably means a little more space required and something to deal with contamination, errors and calibration. A few billion dollars for something that could also be scaled up for cargo (e.g., something that could do a container puff") can't be any more wasteful than some of the nonsense these last couple of years.
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 1:57 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
It should be possible to create a conveyor-belt-like device that has a puffer-like device that then feeds the puffed items into the X-ray. Of course that probably means a little more space required and something to deal with contamination, errors and calibration.
I sense another Halliburton contract coming . . .
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 2:08 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by vassilipan
I sense another Halliburton contract coming . . .
No, Halliburton won't be having a piece of such a thing. Someone else? Well, that's got better chances.
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