Nuclear Methods in Landmine Detection

The Problem: Landmines
‡There are nearly 50 million unexploded landmines in 60 countries around the world. How it Works: ‡These landmines cause approximately 10,000 ‡All explosives have deaths per year. high concentrations ‡Large portions of both N and O. of land go unused ‡By shooting neutrons due to fear of mines. into the soil concentrations of N, O, and H can ‡The neutrons can be produced by either D-T be determined. fusion or radioisotopes. ‡If concentrations of N and O are high in a Modern Mines: particular area, there is likely an explosive. ‡Modern mines can be constructed with plastics and composites. ‡The low metal content of mines makes detection extremely difficult.
A plastic mine

The Solution: Nuclear LMD

The Physics:
‡The detector uses both thermal and fast neutrons to cause gamma ray emissions from N, O, and H. ‡A gamma ray spectrometer can then be used to determine if the concentrations of N and O are high.

Other Applications:
Airport Security
‡The same technology used in nuclear LMD can also be used to scan luggage in airports ‡This technology will allow faster and far more accurate scanning of luggage.

Current Detection Methods:
‡Metal Detectors ‡Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) ‡Probing ‡All the methods above can be extremely dangerous.

Future Detectors:
‡« will likely be robotic and combine nuclear detection techniques with GPR and GPS. ‡This combination will allow for extreme accuracy and speed with minimal false alarms.

The Search Airport luggage scanner

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