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10 May 2012 Feasibility of culvert IED detection using thermal neutron activation
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Bulk explosives hidden in culverts pose a serious threat to the Canadian and allied armies. Culverts provide an opportunity to conceal insurgent activity, avoid the need for detectable surface disturbances, and limit the applicability of conventional sub-surface sensing techniques. Further, in spite of the large masses of explosives that can be employed, the large sensor{target separation makes detection of the bulk explosive content challeng- ing. Defence R&D Canada { Sueld and Bubble Technology Industries have been developing thermal neutron activation (TNA) sensors for detection of buried bulk explosives for over 15 years. The next generation TNA sensor, known as TNA2, incorporates a number of improvements that allow for increased sensor-to-target dis- tances, making it potentially feasible to detect large improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in culverts using TNA. Experiments to determine the ability of TNA2 to detect improvised explosive devices in culverts are described, and the resulting signal levels observed for relevant quantities of explosives are presented. Observations conrm that bulk explosives detection using TNA against a culvert-IED is possible, with large charges posing a detection challenge at least as dicult as that of a deeply buried anti-tank landmine. Because of the prototype nature of the TNA sensor used, it is not yet possible to make denitive statements about the absolute sensitivity or detection time. Further investigation is warranted.
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Anthony A. Faust, John E. McFee, Edward T. H, Clifford, Hugh Robert Andrews, Cristian Mosquera, and William C. Roberts "Feasibility of culvert IED detection using thermal neutron activation", Proc. SPIE 8357, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XVII, 83570W (10 May 2012);

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