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Proceedings Paper

Potential detection problems: nonnitrogen-based explosives
Author(s): William W. Bannister; Jimmie C. Oxley
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Paper Abstract

Most explosive detection technology has been centered on systems tuned to nitro-based explosives or on imaging devices with high X-Ray or other spectrometric profiles. There are, however, several readily available and highly effective non-nitrogenous high energy explosives which are essentially invisible to explosive detection technologies currently in development.

"Transparent" explosives which will be discussed in the first part of this presentation include peroxides (used in both monergolic and hypergolic applications); acetylene precursors; and fuel/air bomb systems involving use of olefin oxides, acetylene, other hydrocarbons, and similar high energy agents. For many of these, blasting cap or similar detonating devices requiring easily detected triggering systems are not required. Areas to be covered for these explosive systems include commercial availability or ease of clandestine manufacture (preparative schemes and raw materials); stabilities in transit; ignition/detonation systems; energy release; and potential for use in clandestine operations. Suggestions for enhancing airport detection will also be presented.

The second part of this paper will deal with numerous composite explosives in the form of intimate mixtures of condensed-phase fuels and oxidizers, which also could be formulated. Many of these rely on perchlorate, chlorate or hypochlorite salts as oxidizers. Several self-igniting systems such as boranes, phosphorus and alkali metals will be discussed as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1992
PDF: 33 pages
Proc. SPIE 10264, The Aviation Security Problem and Related Technologies: A Critical Review, 1026402 (28 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.141387
Show Author Affiliations
William W. Bannister, Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell (United States)
Jimmie C. Oxley, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10264:
The Aviation Security Problem and Related Technologies: A Critical Review
Wagih H. Makky, Editor(s)

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