Explosive-Screening Smart Luggage Tags
Profile last edited on: 10/15/2021

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
Brian Thomson
Activity Indicator

Company Information

N5 Sensors Inc

9610 Medical Center Drive Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850
   (301) 337-8314
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   08
County:   Montgomery

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Trace detection of explosives has become a critical problem in public safety and global counterterrorism. Purpose of this work is to develop a highly sensitive, low-power, small form-factor, and low-cost luggage tag for explosive screening utilizing N5s patented micro-scale gas and chemical sensor platform. Multi-dimensional gas sensor array technology allows detection of target gas in a complex mixture in presence of interferents, ideally suited for trace explosive detection. In phase I, N5 will establish the feasibility of N5s semiconductor-photocatalytic hybrid sensor technology for the ESSLT (Explosive-Screening Smart Luggage Tag) concept by defining a small-subset of explosive chemicals of interests and summarizing the performance requirements. The resulting performance requirements will be compared with the preliminary data (previously available and collected during phase I) to identify the gaps in technology. Detailed R&D plans for maturation of ESSLT concept will be developed that will include system concept design, test plan development, and algorithm considerations for various trace explosive recognition. In addition, analysis of various risks and development of various mitigation strategies for the proposed innovation will be undertaken. The envisioned commercial application is a two-part tag consisting of one inside-luggage collection unit and second outside-luggage smart tag connected to the inside scan unit using NFC (near-field communication). The inside unit will continuously scan for trace explosives and communicate with the outside tag, which will be scanned for explosive presence at the airports and alerts/notification will be triggered.

Phase II

Phase II year
Phase II Amount