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Signature Science, LLC performing chemical analysis support to DHS Trace Explosives Sampling for Security Applications (TESSA) program

Published March 16th, 2020 by Renee

As a subcontractor to Northeastern University, Signature Science will characterize sampling and extraction methods for explosives residue analysis.


AUSTIN, TEXAS — March 17, 2020 — Signature Science, LLC has been selected by Northeastern University as a performer on its project supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s Trace Explosives Sampling for Security Applications (TESSA) program. The objective of the project is to understand and measure trace explosives sampling efficiency and baseline performance. The project is a joint effort with the ALERT (Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats) DHS Center of Excellence led by Northeastern University, in collaboration with ALERT University Partners, Purdue University, the University of Washington, New Mexico Tech, and Signature Science. The current effort is an extension of the first TESSA project completed in 2016, data from which was presented at the Trace Explosives Detection (TED) conference in 2017.

Signature Science’s Chemical Sciences Group is characterizing the performance of commercially available sample collection swipes, conducting an analysis of how much explosive residue is left on surfaces after swiping, and developing analysis methods for the detection of explosives new to the program scope. Chemical analysis will be performed utilizing the Agilent 1290/6410 HPLC-QQQ-MS and Thermo Fisher Q-Exactive Plus LC-HRMS analytical instruments.

“We are pleased that our extensive experience in trace explosives sampling and analysis can provide value to ALERT, Northeastern University and their team in this important work,” said Alan Smith, Signature Science’s Principal Investigator. This work was funded by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, Contract #HSHQDC-16-A-B0008/70RSAT19FR0000115. Work under the subcontract will be performed in Signature Science’s Chemical Analysis Resource Center (CARC) in Austin, Texas.


About Signature Science, LLC 

A subsidiary of the Southwest Research Institute, Signature Science, LLC, is a scientific and technical consulting firm providing multi-disciplinary applied research, technology design and development, and scientific, technical and operational services to government and industry.


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