Detecting Illicit Substances: Explosives & Drugs The Delicate Balance of Science, Technology and Facilitation



Operational action against the threat of terrorist bombings and the trafficking of illegal drugs is a complex task requiring the cooperation of many organizations and people. Detection is an important procedural and technical modality which has its place between intelligence, interference and forensics. The appearance of novel threats resulting from the imagination of the innovative terrorist or drug smugglers, such as homemade explosives and designer drugs, has tested the chain of response over and over again. The response must become more effective and more intelligent than accumulation of partial solutions alone. Science, regulation, technology development and operation each have to act and interact and mutual understanding and support as well as guidance are vital. Important questions need to be addressed, such as:

Who provides or should provide incentives for scientific development?
Are operational aspects of technology sometimes overlooked so that scientific progress and technical solutions developed are not fit for purpose from the outset?
Does the developer know and care how equipment will be used?
Are conservative regulations robust or non-adaptive?
How can science, new technologies and enhanced capabilities drive the policy agenda?

This conference aims to engage international participation from people representing most promising areas in science, developers of most innovative technologies, incentivizing policy makers, and demanding operators. The conference will stimulate all to share their views and ideas in an open and intellectually challenging atmosphere so as to leverage the level of understanding, the rigors and limitations of operation and scientific and technical opportunities, and to focus the advancement of illicit substance detection where it needs to be focused. The conference will be organized around threat vectors, i.e. pathways whereby explosives and drugs can be introduced into areas where they are prohibited. This will primarily focus the problem on what needs to be solved (e.g. personnel screening) rather than on the categorization of the technology solution as such (e.g. bulk detection).

+ show speakers and program
A list of preliminary session topics and speakers is displayed below (discussion leaders, where known, are noted in italics). The detailed program is currently being developed by the Conference Chair and will be available by January 26, 2013. Please check back for updates.

The Recent Detection Challenges
(Ken Mann / Andy Price / Richard Lareau)
Human Factors - Cognition
(Adrian Schwaninger / Andrew McClumpha / Maaike Lousberg)
Trends in Combined Capabilities including LAGS and Performance Standards (AVSEC)
(Luc Perron / Paul Loeffen / Anthony Dicken / Matthew Pedler / Ben Wong / Henric Östmark / William Petracci)
Person Inspection
(Mike Kemp / Lena Eckert / Arttu Luukanen / George Vardulakis)
Lessons from Areas in Science Related to Detection of Illicit Substances
(Deeph Chana)
Small Objects Inspection, non-LAGS
(Alicia Elsetinow / Richard Bijjani)
Very Large Objects Inspection for Drugs
(Harry Martz / Ed Morton / Nick Cutmore)
Guiding R&D in Detection
(Richard Lacey / Mario Saucier / Lou Wasserzug)


26 May - 31 May 2013
les diaberets

meeting website