Published Online: 1 April 1981
Page Count: 6
Special assistant to the director (Research and Development), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Washington, D.C.
(Received 16 May 1980; accepted 19 September 1980)
The Explosives Tagging Program was begun to help law enforcement personnel prevent crimes committed with explosives and to improve apprehension of criminals after a bombing. The detection phase of this program involves long-lived vapors in microcapsules. These vapors are perfluorocarbons that may be detected by electron capture detectors, ion mobility spectrometers, mass spectrometers, and possibly animals. In the future, computer-assisted dual-energy tomography may detect explosives not tagged. For identification after detonation, tags must survive the heat and shock of the explosion and ensuing fire and the fire-fighters' water. A multilayered particle of melamine alkyd, each layer of which may be any one of ten colors, is suitable. Combinations of colors give a code that refers to the manufacturer's production lot, which enables the explosive to be traced to the last licensed holder.
Paper ID: JFS11364J