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Proceedings Paper

Thermal neutron activation system for confirmatory nonmetallic land mine detection
Author(s): John E. McFee; Thomas Cousins; Trevor Jones; Jean Roche Brisson; Terry Jamieson; Ed Waller; Francois LeMay; Harry Ing; Edward T. H. Clifford; Barkley Selkirk
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Paper Abstract

To detect and locate buried landmines, the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) is developing a teleoperated, vehicle-mounted, multisensor system called ILDP. In operation, a suite of 4 detectors scan ahead of the vehicle. Their outputs are combined through data fusion to indicate the possibility of a mine at a particular location, within a 30 cm radius. A thermal neutron activation (TNA) sensor, mounted behind the vehicle, is used to confirm the presence of explosives via detection of the 10.83 MeV gamma-ray associated with neutron capture on 14N. The TNA system developed for this uses a 100 microgram 252Cf neutron source surrounded by four 7.62 cm X 7.62 cm NaI(Tl) detectors. A combination of the use of state-of-the art radiation transport codes for design, judicious choice of specialized shielding materials and development of high-rate, fast pulse processing electronics has led to a system which can; (1) confirm the presence of all surface-laid or shallowly-buried anti-tank mines in a few seconds to a minute (depending on mass of explosive) (2) confirm the presence of anti-tank mines down to 20 cm depth in less than 5 minutes. (3) confirm the presence of large (greater than 100 g Nitrogen) anti-personnel mines in less than five minutes (4) operate in adverse climatic conditions. These results have been verified in field trials using the prototype sensor. Work is now ongoing to miniaturize the electronics, make the system robust and easy to use and investigate the use of an electronic neutron generator expected to enter service by the year 2000.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3392, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets III, (4 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.324228
Show Author Affiliations
John E. McFee, Defence Research Establishment Suffield (Canada)
Thomas Cousins, Defence Research Establishment Ottawa (Canada)
Trevor Jones, Defence Research Establishment Ottawa (Canada)
Jean Roche Brisson, Defence Research Establishment Ottawa (Canada)
Terry Jamieson, Science Applications International Corp. (Canada)
Ed Waller, Science Applications International Corp. (Canada)
Francois LeMay, Science Applications International Corp. (Canada)
Harry Ing, Bubble Technology Industries (Canada)
Edward T. H. Clifford, Bubble Technology Industries (Canada)
Barkley Selkirk, Bubble Technology Industries (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3392:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets III
Abinash C. Dubey; James F. Harvey; J. Thomas Broach, Editor(s)

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