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Proceedings Paper

Ultra-wide-band EMI sensing for subsurface deplete uranium detection and classification
Author(s): Fridon Shubitidze; Benjamin E. Barrowes; John B. Sigman; Yinlin Wang; Janet E. Simms; Hollis J. Bennett; Don E. Yule; Steven L. Larson; Kevin A. O'Neill
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Paper Abstract

Depleted uranium (DU) is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process and contains less than 0.3 % of the radioactive U-235 isotope. Since, the natural uranium has about 0.72 % of the uranium U-235 isotope, the enrichment produces large quantities of low-level radioactive DU. The non-fissile uranium U-238 isotope constitutes the main component of DU and makes it very dense. With 19.1 g/cm3 density, the DU is about 68.4 % denser than lead. Because of its high density, the DU has been used for as armor-piercing penetrators by the U.S. army. There are at least 30 facilities where munitions containing DU have been evaluated or used for training. These evaluation studies have been conducted with and without catch-boxes and have left a legacy of DU contamination. Thus, there are needs for rapid and cost-effective approaches to detect and locate subsurface DU munitions and to assess large contaminated areas. In this paper, a new ultra-wideband (from 10s of Hertz up to 15 Megahertz) geophysical instrument is evaluated for sensing subsurface DU munitions and DU materials related to contaminations in soil. Namely, full electromagnetic induction (EMI) responses are investigated using computational and experimental data for a DU rod, dart, and three samples of Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) soils. Numerical data are obtained via the full 3D EMI solver based on the method of auxiliary sources. The EMI signals sensitivity with respect to DU size, orientations, and material composition are illustrated and analyzed. Comparisons between computational and experimental studies are demonstrated. The studies show that the new ultra-wideband EMI sensor measures the complete polarization relaxation response from the DU rod and dart, and is able to sense relative DU contamination levels in soil.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10182, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XXII, 1018216 (4 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262950
Show Author Affiliations
Fridon Shubitidze, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College (United States)
Benjamin E. Barrowes, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
John B. Sigman, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College (United States)
Yinlin Wang, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College (United States)
Janet E. Simms, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Hollis J. Bennett, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Don E. Yule, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Steven L. Larson, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Ctr. (United States)
Kevin A. O'Neill, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10182:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XXII
Steven S. Bishop; Jason C. Isaacs, Editor(s)

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