Gordon Research Conference / Detecting Illicit Substances: Explosives & Drugs - Lucca (Barga), Italy, June 26 - July 1, 2011

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Gordon Research Conference / Detecting Illicit Substances: Explosives & Drugs - Lucca (Barga), Italy, June 26 - July 1, 2011

Post  Admin on Wed May 25, 2011 3:24 pm

Gordon Research Conference / Detecting Illicit Substances: Explosives & Drugs
Countering the Adaptive Adversary: The Revolution of New Materials and Creative Concealments
Il Ciocco Hotel and Resort, Lucca (Barga), Italy, June 26 - July 1, 2011

In the constant battle against explosives based terrorism and narcotics trafficking, a powerful new paradigm is emerging with respect to novel chemicals and materials, as well as advancements in the sophistication of packaging and concealments. Likely driven by advances in detection and tighter controls on obtaining needed materials and precursors; a large surge in the use of both improvised, or “home made” explosives and “designer” drugs is occurring. This increase in the use of new chemicals drives the need for more advanced detection systems that can detect these new materials with high sensitivity and selectivity, and can also continue to provide high detection performance with respect to traditional explosives and narcotics materials.

On the explosives front, the threat materials have shifted from traditional military and commercial explosives (sometimes scavenged from unexploded munitions or mining areas), to improvised explosives that can be concocted from commonly available industrial materials. Chemicals such as organic peroxides, nitrate salts, as well as chlorate and perchlorate compounds are becoming more commonly used in improvised explosives devices; while in the eyes of the security community they are less understood in terms of formulation, initiation, stability and effect. Effective, optimal detection of these emerging chemicals will require new research efforts. Concealments of explosive devices have also become increasingly sophisticated in attempts to circumvent security systems. The terms “shoe bomber” and “underwear bomber” have become part of the public awareness, and drive home the concept of adversary adaptation to security systems.

The same holds true on the narcotics front. The emergence of so called 'designer drugs' has totally revolutionized the worldwide narcotics trade. As an example, over the past five years 'Piperazine' drugs such as BZP, TFMPP, and DBZP have become more and more popular and easier to source. Law enforcement officials have reported that there are 10 or 11 new designer compounds being seized every year. Currently, a specific new group of compounds, cathinone derivatives, are being produced and shipped in bulk quantities around the world. As fast as the governments attempt to outlaw these compounds, there are a list of new ones already waiting to be produced and shipped. This presents new challenges for law enforcement officials who have to target new threat materials concealed in cargo, premises and on individuals, without sacrificing capabilities in detection of traditional narcotics materials.

This conference aims to engage scientists with policy makers and government, so that the needs and requirements can be better understood, as well as the scientific limitations and challenges. In the area of detection of explosives and narcotics, science and policy have one goal and one cannot succeed without the other. Engagement with academia, small businesses, and industry is also necessary to identify the main constraints and barriers in the development, and transition of laboratory science and research, into operational field deployed equipment.

This conference will present cutting edge, previously unpublished, innovative research in these and other key areas including; standards, sampling, new materials characterization and implementation, as well as novel sources and detectors. We encourage international participation from a variety of scientific backgrounds, to share their views and ideas, in order to provide a unique forum for debate and discussion to advance a multi-disciplinary approach to enhanced illicit substance detection.



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