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Proceedings Paper

Electron beam injected into ground generates subsoil x-rays that may deactivate concealed electronics used to trigger explosive devices
Author(s): Michael Retsky
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Paper Abstract

Explosively formed projectiles (EFP) are a major problem in terrorism and asymmetrical warfare. EFPs are often triggered by ordinary infrared motion detectors. A potential weak link is that such electronics are not hardened to ionizing radiation and can latch-up or enter other inoperative states after exposure to a single short event of ionizing radiation. While these can often be repaired with a power restart, they also can produce shorts and permanent damage. A problem of course is that we do not want to add radiation exposure to the long list of war related hazards. Biological systems are highly sensitive to integrated dosage but show no particular sensitivity to short pulses. There may be a way to generate short pulsed subsoil radiation to deactivate concealed electronics without introducing radiation hazards to military personnel and civilian bystanders. Electron beams of 30 MeV that can be produced by portable linear accelerators (linacs) propagate >20 m in air and 10-12 cm in soil. X-radiation is produced by bremsstrahlung and occurs subsoil beneath the point of impact and is mostly forward directed. Linacs 1.5 m long can produce 66 MWatt pulses of subsoil x-radiation 1 microsecond or less in duration. Untested as yet, such a device could be mounted on a robotic vehicle that precedes a military convoy and deactivates any concealed electronics within 10-20 meters on either side of the road.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 April 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6953, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIII, 69530B (29 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.783957
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Retsky, Electron Optics Development Co., LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6953:
Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIII
Russell S. Harmon; John H. Holloway; J. Thomas Broach, Editor(s)

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