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Proceedings Paper

Wavelet-based enhancements to nuclear quadrupole resonance explosives detectors
Author(s): Stephen W. Kercel; William B. Dress; Andrew D. Hibbs; Geoffrey A. Barrall
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Paper Abstract

Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR) is effective for the detecting and identification of certain types of explosives such as RDX, PETN and TNT. In explosive detection, the NQR response of certain 14N nuclei present in the crystalline material is proved. The 14N nuclei possess a nuclear quadrupole moment which in the presence of an electric field gradient produces an energy level splitting which may be excited by radio-frequency magnetic fields. Pulsing on the sample with a radio signal of the appropriate frequency produces a transient NQR response which may then be detected. Since the resonant frequency is dependent upon both the quadrupole moment of the 14N nucleus and the nature of the local electric field gradients, it is very compound specific. Under DARPA sponsorship, the authors are using multiresolution methods to investigate the enhancement of operation of NQR explosives detectors used for mine detection. For this application, NQR processing time must be reduced to less than one second. False alarm response due to acoustic and piezoelectric ringing must be suppressed. Also, as TNT is the most prevalent explosive found in land mines NWR detection of TNT must be made practical despite unfavorable relaxation times. All three issues require improvement in signal-to-noise ratio, and all would benefit from improved feature extraction. This paper reports some of the insights provided by multiresolution methods that can be used to obtain these improvements. It includes results of multiresolution analysis of experimentally observed NQR signatures for RDX response and various false alarm signatures in the absence of explosive compounds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3391, Wavelet Applications V, (26 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.304892
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen W. Kercel, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
William B. Dress, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Andrew D. Hibbs, Quantum Magnetics, Inc. (United States)
Geoffrey A. Barrall, Quantum Magnetics, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3391:
Wavelet Applications V
Harold H. Szu, Editor(s)

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