WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- A new standard reference material will aid in the detection of two explosive compounds known to be used by terrorists, a U.S. government agency says.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has designed the new test samples to simulate the size and behavior of residues that remain after handling the explosives PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) and TATP (triacetone triperoxide).
Instrument developers, academic researchers and government labs can use the standard reference material, or SRM, to test, refine and validate their new detector designs, an NIST release reported Wednesday.
Both PETN and TATP, relatively difficult to detect in the field, were used in failed terrorist attacks by the "shoe bomber" in 2002 and the "underwear bomber" in 2009.
The new NIST SRM, while not itself explosive, contains meticulously measured concentrations of the two explosives that can be used to test and validate the ability of machines and methods to detect the explosives' presence, the agency said.
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