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Proceedings Paper

Explosives detection: potential problems
Author(s): Jimmie C. Oxley
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Paper Abstract

Most explosive detection technologies have been focused on nitro-based military explosives becuase they have figured in international terrorist incidents. Not only are they readily available through purchase or theft or from sponsoring states, but methods for home synthesis are widely available. Many of explosive detection technolgies now under development target a specific characteristic of military or commercial explosives (e.g. mass density, nitrogen density). However, as counterterrorist measures make traditional explosives more difficult to obtain or more risky to use, we should anticipate terrorists may turn to nontraditional explosives. There are hundreds of energetic compounds and many common explosives which, while they do not meet exacting military demands, might be effective terrorist tools. Although explosive handbooks list hundreds of explosives, this talk focuses on only a handful. These have been chosen because they do not follow the classic patterns of military explosives or because they are easily obtainable. This paper will also point out energetic systems that can produce violently exothermic reactions without the aid of traditional initiating systems, such as batteries or detonators.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2511, Law Enforcement Technologies: Identification Technologies and Traffic Safety, (15 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.219597
Show Author Affiliations
Jimmie C. Oxley, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2511:
Law Enforcement Technologies: Identification Technologies and Traffic Safety
Bernard Dubuisson; Geoffrey L. Harding, Editor(s)

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