Scent Detection

Biological Scent Detectors

K9s are the best biological detectors operated by humans today; period. Even so, many of those in the K9 detection arena do not realize their strategic position within the future of scent detection. Most "suits" will refer to a K9 program as an old fashioned, washed way of detection soon to be supplanted by the use of high tech machines and instrumentation. Thus, K9 programs are largely underfunded and entirely ignored in the future blueprints (and budgets) ascribed for scent-based detection programs.

The final response of a K9 to a detection decision is a single human-readable yes/no “output” resulting from global interpretations of processes of a wholly-organic CPU, i.e., the brain, rather than from electronic readouts of nose cells or of images of simulated sites within the brain. Within the K9 detection phenomena lies the true technological foundation upon which the most efficient electronic search-and-detect electronically based systems can be built. This means that understandings culled from addressing K9 search and detection from a scientific standpoint, including a quantitative understanding of K9 detection program components, is crucial to the pool of "nanotechnology" know how needed for the fabrication of the best detection machines and instruments man can ever build.

K9s are Special

The achievement of quantum-leap enhancements in the efficiency of next-generation odor detector machines starts with a comprehensively qualitative and quantitative knowledge of the biological detection process … and K9 detection provides a window of opportunity in unleashing this knowledge. Logically, (funding) realistic successes within machine-based detection should start with (funding) successes in optimizing K9 detection programs, as the "nanotechnology" needed for odor-based search-and-detect technology lies within the phenomena of creature olfaction.
With these understandings, the strategic position of the K9s and the K9 search-and-detect programs is that continued private and governmental funding needs to be apportioned to these programs in order to stimulate it enough to deliver knowledge and understandings that will help in the achievement of quantum-leap enhancements in the efficiency and detectability of currently available detector machines, and those emergent machines for the future.

K9s vs EVD Instruments

K9s are currently much better than Electronic Vapour Detection (EVD) devices and instruments in the detection of illicit and hazardous substance and there is a plethora of reasons justifying this superiority:

  • K9s are presently the only available explosives search-and-detect solution as they represent the only existing “spectrometer” that can detect trace amounts of a vapor and trace it back to source
  • K9s have an olfactory sensitivity that leads to a detection capability comparable to most analytical instrumentation operating on principles based on vapor detection, including modern state-of-art gas spectrophotometers
  • K9s also have a comparable or faster speed of detection than vapor detecting analytical instrumentation
  • K9s do not need an electrical power source to operate
  • Being highly mobile, K9s have a flexible operational use and can be used to screen people, buildings and objects without having any modifications
  • K9s can simultaneously detect different types of explosives in a single sweep
  • K9s are cheaper to maintain than analytical instruments
  • K9s are invaluable for searching large areas, homing in on explosives in an imperatively-necessary non-contact, non-invasive standoff format
  • In addition to being conditioned or “programmed”, K9s learn from past experiences and are capable of making adroit autonomous decisions during a search-and-detect process