Novel sample introduction units
MSA have developed two ticket analyser units for different applications; one to analyse boarding passes in airport screening checkpoints, and a miniaturised unit designed to analyse tickets in train/Metro station screening checkpoints.
The first prototype unit, developed with government funding, was used to conduct a study into explosives trace contamination on used boarding passes from the UK USA and Canada. This unit required an operator to insert and hold the boarding pass in the detector. Subsequently, further government sponsored projects led to the development of an automated boarding pass analyser, which when integrated with a Sciex API3000, triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, was successfully trialled and found to be capable of analysing >1000 passes per hour for a range of target explosives.
Following the successful trial, the ticket analyser was integrated with the mobile mass spectrometer detector to form the SkyMarshal™ system, which was deployed to Oakridge National Laboratory to undergo Safe Skies organised trials at Knoxville Airport, Tennessee.
Following the successful conclusion of the trials a miniaturised ticket analyser was developed and built to analyse smaller tickets for train station, and Metro scenarios. Trials conducted on this system demonstrated the ability to detect >1600 ticket per hour for a range of target explosives.
The ticket analysers are easy to use, reliable, and use few or no consumables. Unlike many surface analysis techniques, the ticket analysers can liberate drugs or explosives from a large surface area, and so can be applied as a rapid screening method in checkpoint scenarios. Coupled with the specificity afforded by a tandem mass spectrometer, the ticket analysers are able to provide real time results to a forensic standard, thereby maximising detection probability and minimising false positives.
The ticket analysers can be successfully coupled to a range of mass spectrometers. Please contact MSA to discuss whether a model is available for your application.
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