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Explosive Trace Detection Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Handheld, Portable/ Movable, and Fixed Point/ Standalone), By Technology (Colorimetrics, Ion Mobility Spectrometry, Thermo Redox, Chemiluminescence, and Amplifying Fluorescent Polymer), By End Use (Commercial, Defense, Public Safety & Law Enforcement, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104050



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The global explosive trace detection market size was USD 958.7 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with trace detection systems witnessing a negative impact on demand across the globe amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of -10.32% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 1,135.7 million in 2021 to USD 2,058.7 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.87% in the 2021-2028 period.


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Explosive trace detection (ETD) system is a system that samples an explosive trace from the surface of an inspected object. It analyzes the trace to check the presence and type of explosive. There are different steps involved in the detection process, such as sample extraction, vaporization, separation, selection, ionization, analysis, etc. Increasing terrorist activities around the world boost market growth. In Feb 2021, Rapiscan Systems achieved TSA air cargo approval for its itemizer 5X trace detector. The introduction of the latest technologies, such as machine learning, big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), based interpretation & smart sensors, will create better opportunities in the upcoming years.

Aviation Industry Faced Unmatched Challenges Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the lockdown in major countries such as the U.S., China, Germany, France, India, and others, there was a huge impact on the aviation industry. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there were 4.5 billion passengers in 2019. In 2020, the number reduced to 1.8 billion and faced a financial loss of USD 370 billion to the aviation industry. Furthermore, there were disruptions in the supply chain, declining defense budgets, and a slow production rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, declined expenditure in the aviation and defense sector hampers the growth of the market.


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Development of Advance Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) to Enhance Operational Efficiency By Providing Situational Awareness

Nowadays, key players in the market are focusing on the introduction of advanced technologies for improved accuracy. In November 2019, FLIR Systems launched the FLIR Fido X4, the latest form of the advanced detector that can be fixed on the FLIR systems Packbot unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). The Fido X4 uses a five-channel sensor array and the company’s TrueTrace detection technology. Thus, it provides highly precise detection of various explosives at nano-gram to sub-nano-gram levels. It has the capability to detect military, commercial, and homemade explosives within ten seconds. Furthermore, in November 2019, IDenta Corporation launched TANKER. It is a detection solution of explosive residue on people, surfaces, and objects.


Increasing Government Regulations for Security Screening in Aviation Sector Boosts Market Growth

Increasing security screening rules and regulations from governments drive the growth of the market. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an authorized agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for the security of travelers across the U.S. TSA’s security screening procedures at airports are intended to prevent threats and other prohibited items in the sterile area of the airport. In India, in January 2020, the Mangalore police had found an improvised explosive device (IED) in a bag in the premises of Mangalore International Airport. Thus, the growing demand for ETD devices from defense and commercial applications drives the market's growth.

Growing Terrorism Across the Globe Propels the Explosive Trace Detection Market Growth

Increasing terrorist activities, cross-border conflicts, and others led to improved security concerns across the globe. In India, in August 2020, Delhi police arrested a terrorist with 30 kg of explosives. Furthermore, on February 14, 2021, Jammu & Kashmir police had recovered a 7 kg improvised explosive device (IED) near the bus stand in Jammu. Due to increasing terrorism, and illegal weapon transfer, there is rising demand for explosive trace detection devices. The rising procurement of ETD systems from law enforcement and homeland security agencies propels the growth of the market during the forecast period.


Reduced Defense Budget in Countries to Hamper Market Growth

Declining defense expenditure from countries such as Indonesia, India, South Korea, and others hampers the growth of the market. Lower ETD procurement contract and reduced defense budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the market growth. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia has reduced its defense budget by USD 588 million, and Thailand slashed its defense budget by USD 555 million. Thus, decreased demand for explosive trace detection devices from end users due to lower investments from governments can hamper the market's growth during 2021-2028.


By Product Analysis

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Handheld Segment Held Highest Shares in 2020 Due to Rising Demand for Compact Devices

Based on the product, the explosive trace detection market is segmented into handheld, portable/ movable, and fixed-point/ standalone. The handheld ETD segment held the highest shares in 2020. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for various applications such as force protection, border security, search & rescue, critical infrastructure, and others. The portable/ Movable segment is anticipated to experience the highest growth rate during 2021-2028. The growth is due to the increasing demand for portable ETDs from commercial and defense sectors. In March 2020, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) unveiled RalDer-X, a new portable explosive detection device. It can detect bulk explosives from a specific range and locate in a hidden place.

By Technology Analysis

Ion Mobility Spectrometry Will Witness Highest Growth Due to Growing Demand for Commercial Applications

Based on the technology, the market is divided into colorimetrics, ion mobility spectrometry, thermo redox, chemiluminescence, and amplifying fluorescent polymers. The ion mobility spectrometry segment is projected to be the largest segment in 2020 and continue its domination during the forecast period. It works by observing and analyzing the mobility of the ions in a uniform electric field. Rising demand for ETDs from the commercial sector boosts segmental growth. The chemiluminescence segment is estimated to show significant growth during 2021-2028. The process involves the emission of light from a chemical reaction, and it has a sensitivity level of nanograms. It is the simplest method amongst all, thus driving the growth of the market.

By End-Use Analysis

Increasing Use of ETD for Defense Applications Boosts the Market Growth

Based on the end use, the market is classified into defense, commercial, public safety & law enforcement, and others. The defense segment held the largest explosive trace detection market share in 2020. Rising defense expenditure, increasing terrorist activities, and cross-border conflicts drive the segmental growth during the forecast period. The commercial segment is projected to show the highest CAGR during 2021-2028. The growth is attributed to the growing demand for applications in the aviation sector, and critical infrastructure.


North America Explosive Trace Detection Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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The global market is segmented based on region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, The Middle East & Africa, and latin America.

North America dominated the market in 2020. North America market size stood at USD 299.7 million in 2020. The growth is attributed to the highest defense expenditure and growing procurement of next-generation ETD devices from law enforcement agencies. Key players such as FLIR Systems, Inc., Morphix Technologies, OSI Systems, Inc., Leidos holdings, and others drive the market growth across the region.

In Asia Pacific, the market is expected to witness remarkable growth during 2021-2028. The growth is due to increasing investments for security screening in the aviation sector from countries such as China, India, Japan, Australia, and others. The rising defense budget, growing number of airports, and rising terrorism across Asia Pacific drive the market's growth.

Europe will experience significant growth due to the presence of key players such as Smiths Detection Group Ltd. RS DYNAMICS, Chemring Group PLC, and others boost the development of the market across the region. Rising terrorist attacks and mass shooting incidents lead to growing security concerns, which creates demand for explosive trace detection systems.

The Middle East & Africa is anticipated to show moderate growth due to increasing defense budgets from countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. Rapid expansion in the aviation sector and rising public safety concerns drive the market growth across the Middle & Africa. The market growth in South America is accredited to the increasing demand for explosive trace detection systems from Brazil and Argentina.


OEMs to Focus on Business Expansion Through Mergers & Acquisitions

Key players in the ETD market focus on business expansion through partnerships, contracts, mergers & acquisitions. In June 2017, OSI Systems, Inc. signed an agreement with Smiths Group plc to acquire the global explosive trace detection (ETD) business at a worth of USD 75.5 million. In addition to that, in May 2020, Leidos acquired the security detection and automation business of L3Harris Technologies, Inc. at a worth of USD 1 billion. The development of advanced technological products such as TANKER from IDenta Corporation, and Fido X4 premium handheld ETD from FLIR Systems Inc. propels the market growth.


  • Analogic Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Autoclear, LLC. (The U.S.)

  • Bruker (The U.S.)

  • DetectaChem (The U.S.)

  • FLIR Systems, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • Leidos (The U.S.)

  • Morphix Technologies (The U.S.)


  • OSI Systems, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • RS DYNAMICS (Switzerland)

  • Smiths Detection Group Ltd. (The U.K)


  • In January 2021 –Westminster Group fulfilled contract to supply EVD3500 handheld explosive trace detectors to the Cambodian company. The EVD3500 can detect military, commercial and homemade explosives, including ammonium nitrates, plastics, black powders, and peroxide-based explosives such as TATP and HMTD.

  • In April 2021 –An IIT Bombay startup “NanoSniff Technologies” developed the world’s first micro sensor based explosive trace detector (ETD). It can detect explosives in less than 10 seconds, and identifies and categorizes different classes of explosives.

  • In November 2020 – Smith detection upgraded its IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution to detect synthetic cannabinoids. It is highly effective in detection of narcotics that are concealed.


An Infographic Representation of Explosive Trace Detection Market

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The market report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as product type, key players, technology, and end-use in the industry. Moreover, the research report offers insights on explosive trace detection market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, market status, and key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the global market's sizing in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



   Value (USD Million)


  Product; Technology; End Use and Geography

By Product

  • Handheld

  • Portable/ Movable

  • Fixed Point/ Standalone

By Technology

  • Colorimetrics

  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry

  • Thermo Redox

  • Chemiluminescence

  • Amplifying Fluorescent Polymer


By End Use

  • Commercial

  • Defense

  • Public Safety and Law Enforcement

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America (By Product, Technology, End Use, and Country)

    • The U.S. (By Product)

    • Canada (By Product)

    • Mexico (By Product)

  • Europe (By Product, Technology, End Use, and Country)

    • The U.K. (By Product)

    • Germany (By Product)

    • France (By Product)

    • Russia (By Product)

    • Rest of Europe (By Product)

  • Asia-Pacific (By Product, Technology, End Use, and Country)

    • China (By Product)

    • India (By Product)

    • Japan (By Product)

    • Australia (By Product)

    • South Korea (By Product)

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific (By Product)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Product, Technology, End Use, and Country)

    • The UAE (By Product)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Product)

    • South Africa (By Product)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Product)

  • South America (By Product, Technology, End Use, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Product)

    • Argentina (By Product)

    • Rest of South America (By Product)



Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 958.7 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2,058.7 million by 2028.

Registering a CAGR of 8.87%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

Handheld segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period owing to increasing demand for lightweight and compact ETD.

Smiths Detection Group Ltd. is the leading player in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

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