Easy. Efficient. Economical. Introducing a breakthrough in explosives trace detection

Detect virtually any explosive in less than four seconds- without relying on a reference library. Leveraging L-3's innovative energetic materials detection (EMD) technology, the OptEX desktop explosives trace detection system allows security personnel to resolve threats quickly while keeping bags and people moving.

OptEX strengthens security at airports, seaports, border crossings, air cargo facilities, embassies and other critical infrastructure facilities through an improved approach to screening trace amounts of explosives. Departing from conventional ion mobility spectrometer (IMS)

technology, OptEX searches for unique heat signatures that indicate traces of explosives. This unique technology enables OptEX to quickly and safely detect energetic material-from newly created compounds to documented substances such as TATP, TNT, PETN, RDX, NC and nitrates.

OptEX features a rapid automatic startup that readies the device for operation in less than two minutes. Users of every skill level can operate OptEX with minimal training by simply wiping any object with a sample wipe and inserting it into the OptEX detector. Results are displayed in just seconds. Wipes can be reused, enabling users to dramatically cut day-to-day operating costs while creating a more secure environment.

Rapid analysis allows operators to resolve threats
quickly while keeping bags and passengers moving

Energetic Materials Detection: L-3 Innovation at Work

L-3's energetic materials detection (EMD) technology introduces a paradigm shift to the practice of screening trace amounts of explosives.
All explosive materials can be made to decompose exothermically when supplied with sufficient activation energy. L-3 technology takes advantage of the intense release of heat and sharp increase in temperature, which is followed by a sharp decrease in temperature, that characterizes the decomposition process. L-3's OptEX uses advanced detection algorithms to recognize these unique heat signatures and identify the presence of explosives.

OptEX Highlights

  • Reduces total cost of ownership through reusable sample wipes and fewer consumables
  • Eliminates the need for explosive reference libraries that must be constantly updated
  • Provides a simpler, safer approach to explosives trace detection, as no dryer consumables, carrier gases or radioactive sources are required
  • Speeds checkpoint throughput by reducing analysis time to just four seconds
  • Provides maximum up-time, as system is contamination-resilient and does not require bake-out or clear-down sessions
  • Facilitates ease-of-use through integrated touch screen and intuitive pass/alarm indicator.


Explosives Detected: Any explosive exhibiting an exothermic decomposition including TATP, TNT, PETN, RDX, NC, nitrates and others
Detection Limit: Designed to meet TSA nanogram levels
Alarm Notification: Visual
Analysis Time: <4 seconds
Up Time: <2 minutes
Cooling: Fan-forced air
Data Storage and Communications: Hard drive, two USB ports, RS-232 port, internal printer
Operator Interface: VGA touchscreen
(USB keyboard/mouse capable)
Power: 110/220 VAC 50/60 Hz; less than 10/5 Amps
Operating: +5 to +35°C 
Storage: –20 to +60°C
Dimensions: 281.9 mm (11.1") W x 459.7 mm (18.1") H x 475.0 mm (18.7") D
Weight: 25 kg (55 lbs)


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