A neutron based vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detection system

Published in:

Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 261,1-2 (2007) 277-280;


Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices pose significant risk to government facilities, economic centers and the general public. The detonation of large-scale explosive devices is a worldwide phenomenon. Checkpoint operations currently call for a manual search of vehicles, putting personnel at high risk. We have built a prototype, remotely controlled system to non-intrusively and non-destructively detect explosives with a vehicle inspection time of between 2 and 5 min. The system utilizes a neutron generator and high-purity germanium (HPGe) detectors housed in moving components that scan the entire vehicle and allow for a single location rescan. The neutron generator operates at similar to 10(8) neutrons per second resulting in extremely small induced radiation levels and low exposure to possible stowaways. A control software operator interface is fully automated for remote operation of the hardware components and execution of the data analysis and threat algorithm with no operator intervention. Studies have been completed to characterize the performance of the system as a function of the weight of explosive within a complete set of vehicles. The underlying physical concepts of the system development are presented. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


vehicle;; car;; scanner;; VBIED;; explosive;; neutron generator;; high-purity;; germanium;; detector;; HPGe;; Instruments & Instrumentation;; Nuclear Science & Technology;; Physics, ;; Atomic, Molecular & Chemical;; Physics, Nuclear

Date of this Version