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Proceedings Paper

Narcotics and explosives detection by 14N pure nuclear quadrupole resonance
Author(s): Allen N. Garroway; Michael L. Buess; James P. Yesinowski; Joel B. Miller
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Paper Abstract

Pure nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) of 14N nuclei is quite promising as a method for detecting explosives such as RDX and contraband narcotics such as cocaine and heroin in quantities of interest. Pure NQR is conducted without an external applied magnetic field, so potential concerns about damage to magnetically encoded data or exposure of personnel to large magnetic fields are not relevant. Because NQR frequencies of different compounds are quite distinct, we do not encounter false alarms from the NQR signals of other benign materials. We have constructed a proof-of-concept NQR explosives detector which interrogates a volume of 300 liters (10 ft3). With minimal modification to the existing explosives detector, we can detect operationally relevant quantities of (free base) cocaine within the 300-liter inspection volume in 6 seconds. We are presently extending this approach to the detection of heroin base and also examining 14N and 35,37Cl pure NQR for detection of the hydrochloride forms of both materials. An adaptation of this NQR approach may be suitable for scanning personnel for externally carried contraband and explosives. We first outline the basics of the NQR approach, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and then present representative results for RDX and cocaine detection. We also present a partial compendium of relevant NQR parameters measured for some materials of interest.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2092, Substance Detection Systems, (28 March 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.171251
Show Author Affiliations
Allen N. Garroway, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Michael L. Buess, Sachs/Freeman Associates (United States)
James P. Yesinowski, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Joel B. Miller, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2092:
Substance Detection Systems
Geoffrey L. Harding; Richard C. Lanza; Lawrence J. Myers; Peter A. Young, Editor(s)

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