Explosives trace detector - L-ION

Effective and rapid detection of explosives is of great importance in preventing acts of terrorism. Even specially trained dogs with years of experience can be distracted by various factors in urban environments, rendering them unable to detect suspicious substances. Unlike conventional detectors, the L-ION explosives trace detector is well suited for mobile field work due to its low weight and small dimensions.

The L-ION, developed by the Inward Detection research laboratory, is a portable explosives detector, featuring very high sensitivityand reliability of measurement results. The L-ION mobile detector can be effectively used indoors, in a variety of means of transportation, as well as outdoors. It allows to detect a wide range of trace amounts of explosives and their vapours. Detectable substances include:

  • trinitrotoluene (TNT)
  • hexogen (RDX)
  • Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN)
  • C4
  • Semtex
  • nitroglycerin (NG)
  • Ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN)
  • cyclonite
  • dynamite
  • black powder
  • derivatives and mixtures of the above.

The L-ION explosives trace detector offers two modes of operation.

Vapour detection and particle analysis

In the first case, samples are taken directly from the air. The portable L-ION detector uses two separate air flow circuits for this purpose. One is used for sampling, while the other produces a pure, dry carrier flow that cleans the sensor. Thus, the apparatus is highly resistant to any impurities and can be used with confidence in dusty and damp areas, maintaining steady performance and accuracy. In addition, in order to increase its sensitivity, it utilises a laser to ionise the nozzle surface and enable detection at a distance of up to 60 cm from the tested spot.

Particle analysis mode

In particle analysis mode, samples are collected from the tested surface using ordinary aluminium foil (which also keeps operating costs low, unlike many devices that require expensive tissues supplied by their manufacturer). The foil with the sample is placed on a special heater, meaning that the L-ION explosives trace detector can be used at a wide range of ambient temperatures, both indoors and outdoors.

Key features of the L-ION portable explosives trace detector

  • FAIMS technology

    FAIMS technology

    The L-ION portable explosives trace detector uses FAIMS technology (Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry), utilising ionisation caused by corona discharges. It does not use any radioactive materials, so it is completely safe for health of the operator and does not require any special methods of storage or transportation. Special firmware inside the L-ION analyses the sample’s measured spectrum and compares it with the spectra of known explosives and their derivatives and mixtures.

  • FAIMS technology

    Explosives trace detector does not require calibration

    The system does not require calibration. During start-up it analyses the environmental conditions and adjusts parameters to the current operating conditions. The technologies and algorithms used all ensure the highest performance, accurate sample analysis, and unambiguous identification of explosive materials.

  • Warranty

    Highest level of sensitivity

    Unrivalled immunity to interference and environmental conditions.

  • Matryca wysokiej jakości

    Immunity to contamination

    Two independent air streams fitted with an ionising laser, which increases the system’s sensitivity in vapour analysis mode.


    High reliability of detecting trace amounts of explosives

    Minimal likelihood of false positives.


    Wide range of explosives detected, including their derivatives and mixtures

    Trinitrotoluene (TNT), hexogen (RDX), Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), C4, Semtex nitroglycerin (NG), Ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN), cyclonite, dynamite, black powder, and more.


    Audio and visual alarm of the explosives trace detector

    Notifies when a dangerous substance has been detected.



    24 months.



    Automatic adjustment to the operating conditions

  • Low running costs


    Does not require consumables, such as special probes or gases.

The L-ION explosives trace detector is simple and intuitive to use, and does not require specialist training or particular knowledge or experience with explosives. Analysis results can be presented on the built-in LCD screen, providing clear and unambiguous information (the language menu system can be customised to suit the customer’s requirements), or sent via WiFi to a remote device such as a PC, Mac, tablet, or a smartphone. The portable explosives detector can also be controlled remotely via WiFi, without installing any additional software. The analysis results can be stored on a memory card inserted in the L-ION detector.

Specification of Explosives trace detector - L-ION
1 TNT, 20° C, 80% relative humidity 2 TNT
Sensitivity in vapour analysis mode 1 10-15 g / cm3 / 1 ppt
Sensitivity in particle analysis mode 2 10 pg
Detection technology differential ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS)
Radioactive source of the explosives trace detector none
Calibration not required
Ionisation type
  • corona discharge
  • laser ionisation
Detected substances RDX, PETN, TNT, Semtex, NG, EDGN, and mixtures and derivatives thereof
Alarm type
  • audiovisual
  • with substance identification
Start-up time > 1 minute
Analysis time
  • vapor detection mode: less than 2 s
  • particle analysis mode: 2-7 s
Sampling range up to 60 cm
Number of false alarms < 1%
Power requirements of the explosives trace detector
  • mains: 110 - 260V AC 50/60 Hz
  • battery: 24V DC
Battery operation time up to 2 h
  • 4.3” TFT LCD
  • colour touch-screen
Operating temperature 5°C to 50°C
Humidity limits 95%
Dimensions 373 × 266 × 162 mm
Weight of the explosives trace detector 7.7 kg
In box
In box
  • Explosives trace detector - L-ION
  • User manual

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