GE Introduces Itemiser FX for One-Touch Trace Explosives and Narcotics

BRADENTON, FLA. -- GE Security has introduced its new Itemiser FX, the first direct-transfer, trace-detection instrument that can simultaneously identify explosives and narcotics directly from a simple finger touch.

In checkpoint settings where large portals are impractical, or where high throughput is required, a simple touch of the Itemiser FX finger pad directly samples and quickly analyzes people for trace particles of explosives and narcotics. Through it's direct and easy sampling method, the highly portable Itemiser FX offers the potential for increased security, reduced manpower costs and a faster and more pleasant user experience at correctional facilities, customs and border inspection stations, military checkpoints, government buildings, public transportation stations, high-threat commercial facilities, and sporting and other large public event settings.

"Traditional desktop trace detection instruments screen objects, not people, requiring the substance particles to be transferred from the person to an object before they can be detected, " said Tim Mathews, general manager, government and military, GE Security's Homeland Protection business. "With Itemiser FX's unique direct-sampling method, the person's fingertip - not the object they are carrying - is analyzed, offering the possibility of faster and more reliable detection of narcotics and explosives."

Itemiser FX can provide highly effective trace particle detection of difficult-to-find substances while letting people pass through the screening process quickly and easily with little or no assistance. It can be operated as a standalone system or, using its networking capability, as the detection "front-end" for integrated security systems. In a networked setting, multiple Itemiser FXs can be monitored remotely by a single operator.

The unit can help customers eliminate the time, cost and staffing associated with the use of sample wipes necessary with other trace detection systems. At the checkpoint, using intuitive animation and user-friendly prompts, Itemiser FX instructs the user to press their finger to the sampling surface and to wait for analysis. If there is no alarm, Itemiser FX automatically directs the person to proceed. If an alarm occurs, Itemiser FX directs the user to ask for assistance.

An onboard computer collects and logs data automatically, including time, date and sample analysis for each alarm. A complete history of saved data and alarm files can be recalled, and printed, at any time or transferred to another location for archiving.

Direct transfer of threat substances to the instrument can improve detectability. In addition, Itemiser FX's patented Ion Trap Mobility Spectrometer (ITMS(r)) technology helps to increase the ion population, enabling detections of microscopic traces of explosives and narcotics. An exclusive switching mechanism simultaneously detects positive and negative ions, allowing detection of both narcotics and explosives from a single sample.

The Itemiser FX is reliable and can be cost effective. Its innovative residue-sampling wheel obtains test results without using consumables. A patented regenerative dryer eliminates the need for monthly dryer replacement, reduces maintenance downtime and further lowers consumable costs. The folding monitor screen automatically shuts off backlight to extend the life of the display. And, a sleep pump option extends the life of the pump.

Advanced human peak detection algorithms enhance dependability in explosives mode, while multiple points on the sampling wheel speed up down time for clearing between samples, reducing false alarm rates. A unique semi-permeable membrane helps to exclude dust and dirt and can provide continued operation in environments that have high traffic, humidity or contamination. Rapid, automated calibration assures operational accuracy and a verification pen confirms instrument performance and reliability.

Remote control and monitoring capabilities are provided by the SecureStation 2 accessory device to reduce staffing requirements and enhance safety by performing screening while keeping operators at a safe distance. With SecureStation 2 a single operator can remotely monitor up to eight Itemiser FX instruments at a glance. The unit features simple touch screen access and an easy-to-view and navigate flat-panel display.

Substance libraries currently include a wide variety of narcotics and explosives and are readily expandable to accommodate unique user requirements and potential future needs.

Weighing only 31 pounds (14 kg) and featuring built-in handles, the Itemiser FX is easy to transport. An internal, 30-minute battery provides for instrument relocation without having to shut it off, eliminating warm-up time.

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