The inspection of sealed containers is a critical task for personnel charged with enforcing government policies, maintaining public safety, and ensuring national security. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed a portable, handheld acoustic inspection device (AID) that provides non-invasive container interrogation and material identification capabilities. The AID technology has been deployed worldwide and user’s are providing feedback and requesting additional capabilities and functionality. Recently, PNNL has developed a laboratory-based system for automated, ultrasonic characterization of fluids to support database development for the AID. Using pulse-echo ultrasound, ultrasonic pulses are launched into a container or bulk-solid commodity. The return echoes from these pulses are analyzed in terms of time-of-flight and frequency content (as a function of temperature) to extract physical property measurements (acoustic velocity and attenuation) of the material under test. These measured values are then compared to a tailored database of materials and fluids property data acquired using the Velocity-Attenuation Measurement System (VAMS). This bench-top platform acquires key ultrasonic property measurements as a function of temperature and frequency. This paper describes the technical basis for operation of the VAMS, recent enhancements to the measurement algorithms for both the VAMS and AID technologies, and new measurement data from laboratory testing and performance demonstration activities. Applications for homeland security and counterterrorism, law enforcement, drug-interdiction and fuel transportation compliance activities will be discussed.