The paper presents analyses of current research projects connected with explosive material sensors. Sensors are described assigned to X and γ radiation, optical radiation sensors, as well as detectors applied in gas chromatography, electrochemical and chemical sensors. Furthermore, neutron techniques and magnetic resonance devices were analyzed. Special attention was drawn to optoelectronic sensors of explosive devices.
Detection of explosives vapors is an extremely difficult task. The sensitivity of currently constructed detectors is often insufficient. The paper presents a description of an explosive vapors concentrator that improves the detection limit of some explosives detectors. These detectors have been developed at the Institute of Optoelectronics. The concentrator is especially dedicated to operate with nitrogen oxide detectors. Preliminary measurements show that using the concentrator, the recorded amount of nitrogen dioxide released from a 0.5 ng sample of TNT increases by a factor of approx. 20. In the concentrator an induction heater is applied. Thanks to this and because of the miniaturization of the container with an adsorbing material (approx. 1 cm3), an extremely high rate of temperature growth is achieved (up to 500 °C within approx. 25 s). The concentration process is controlled by a microcontroller. Compact construction and battery power supply provide a possibility of using the concentrator as a portable device.