Superior technology at a price competitive with the current IMS-ETD technology

Austin, TX - June 25, 2019

Austin, Texas – June 25, 2019 – 1st Detect Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC), today announced that it is officially launching the TRACER 1000, the world’s first European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) certified desktop mass spectrometer explosives trace detector (MS-ETD), enabling airports and air cargo facilities worldwide to stay ahead of emerging threats, lower operating costs, and improve screening throughput.


Over a decade ago, the National Research Council’s Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation identified mass spectrometry as the solution for the shortcomings of ion mobility spectrometry ETDs (IMS-ETD), which is the currently deployed technology. The shortcomings identified included a limited number of detectable threats and a high false alarm rate. The Committee also recognized that cost, complexity, and ruggedness would be the challenges of fielding mass spectrometry-based instruments.


In addition to their extremely limited libraries, IMS technology is known to suffer from false alarms because common household products can be confused with dangerous explosives. This commonly results in passenger delays, unnecessary screening costs, and decreased confidence in ETDs.

The TRACER 1000 is an ETD that has been engineered to meet the needs of the next generation passenger and cargo security checkpoints and replace the antiquated IMS-ETDs that are currently in service with a lower cost of ownership. As terrorists continue to find new ways to threaten global aviation security, the TRACER 1000, with its virtually unlimited and instantly updatable threat library, enables aviation security operators to always stay ahead of the threats. With a lower false alarm rate than the outdated IMS-ETDs, and near-100% uptime, the TRACER 1000 ETD is the logical solution for any passenger checkpoint or cargo facility going forward.


“The aviation security industry has been wanting MS-ETDs for a long time and we are excited to announce the launch of the Tracer 1000 as a true mass-spec technology breakthrough,” stated Raj Mellacheruvu, CEO of 1st Detect. “The fundamental virtues of mass spectrometry technology enables us to deliver a product with compelling benefits to checkpoint security operators, including the capability to quickly address a viturally unlimited number of emerging threats, improve screening efficiency, and lower operating costs,” he added.


The Tracer 1000 garnered considerable interest following the recent announcement of receiving ECAC certification and has been invited to participate in a number of field trials, all of which have met or exceeded customer expectations, further validating its superiority over the obsolete IMS technology.


“We were excited to be the first international airport to do an operational trial with an ECAC certified mass spectrometry ETD. Overall, we found the system to be very easy to use with 100% uptime. We noticed that the cleardown of an alarm is quicker with the TRACER. The low false alarm rate and throughput will help keep on-time departures and avoid security delays.  The Tracer 1000 also allows us to be prepared for the future as new threats emerge,” said Tuomo Kivikari, Vice President/Senior Adviser Risk Manager, Finavia Corporation, operator of Finland’s airport network.  


1st Detect also unveiled its new website to accompany the product launch, which can be seen at www.1stdetect.com.

To schedule a demo, please contact us at sales@1stdetect.com.


About 1st Detect Corporation


1st Detect Corporation, a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC), develops, manufactures, and sells explosives and narcotics trace detectors for use in the air transport and other security markets. Astrotech Corporation is a science and technology development and commercialization company that launches, manages, and builds scalable companies based on innovative technology in order to maximize shareholder value. Astrotech is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For information, please visit www.astrotechcorp.com.


This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from the forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, whether we can successfully develop our proprietary technologies and whether the market will accept our products and services, as well as other risk factors and business considerations described in the Astrotech Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings including the annual report on Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statements in this document should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors. Astrotech Corporation assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


Company Contact: Eric Stober, Chief Financial Officer, Astrotech Corporation, (512) 485-9530