US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security

Science and Technology Directorate Explosives Division

S&T Bomb Squad


The Science and Technology Directorate Explosives Division promotes the development of effective techniques to protect our citizens and our country’s infrastructure against the devastating effects of explosives by seeking innovative approaches in detection, and in countermeasures. It provides the concepts, science, technologies and systems that increase protection from explosives and promotes the development of field equipment, technologies, and procedures to interdict person-borne bombs, and car and truck bombs.


The Explosives Division is working to develop:

  • An automated high-speed, high-performance checked baggage explosives detection system with reduced false alarm rates, improved throughput, and reduced operation and maintenance cost for screening checked baggage.
  • Next generation threat detection system for Transportation Security Administration passenger check points to screen evolving threats while improving passenger experience.
  • An enhanced ability of screening systems and operators to detect explosives and improvised explosive device (IED) components within cargo parcels and pallets.
  • Tools, techniques and knowledge to better understand, train and utilize the explosive detection canine.
  • New or improved technical capabilities to detect person-borne IEDs at a standoff distance.
  • Methods for detecting trace explosives on people and personal items at a standoff distance.
  • Solutions to protect the nations surface transportation systems.
  • Knowledge on homemade explosives detection thresholds and threat quantities for detection.


Dr. Eric Houser is the Director for the Explosives Division with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.


The Explosives Division is divided into four main strategic portfolios including:

  • Aviation Security: Checked baggage, check point, air cargo and canine operations.
  • Facilities Protection: Facility checkpoints and perimeters.
  • Intermodal Security: Protection of commuters and infrastructure in subway, maritime (ferries), and surface (buses and heavy rail) transportation.
  • Improvised Explosives: Understanding the homemade explosive threat to improve detection technology and develop detection requirements.  
Last Published Date: October 17, 2014
Back to Top