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Detection of Explosives by Gamma-Activation Method


Detection of Explosives by Gamma-Activation Method

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation
  • MAT-EXP/Explosives/Materials
  • PHY-ANU/Atomic and Nuclear Physics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Supporting institutes

  • FIAN Lebedev, Russia, Moscow


  • Sandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary

The Project refers to the category of applied research.

The technology of HE detection by gamma-activation method is based on registration of decay products of radioactive nuclei of chemical elements forming the basis for HE, which are produced in an explosive under the action of hard gamma-radiation. Within several microseconds a portion of the inspected volume is irradiated by the gamma-quanta beam generated by the betatron. After irradiation within 10-20 ms secondary gamma-quanta induced by -particles, which are produced as a result of a decay of formed radionuclides are registered using the gamma-detector. Then the adjacent portion of this volume is irradiated, and measurement procedure is repeated. A drastic increase in the flux of secondary gamma-quanta will be indicative of the presence of nitrogen or carbon in the irradiated volume. High method selectivity is provided by time analysis of decay curves measured in the course of signal registration.

In the Project #2714.2 a series of experiments is presumed to be performed to obtain characteristics of the beam of secondary gamma-quanta, depending on HE types, depth of HE placing inside the hiding matter, on the type and humidity of this matter. Boundary conditions of method application, due to the effect of different factors, including background interference from another photonuclear reactions at different levels of energy of bremsstrahlung beam, are also assumed to be experimentally determined. The technology of detecting hidden HE by the gamma-activation method will be demonstrated.

The mathematical model will be created, which allows computer modeling of nuclear reactions in the inspected HE and development of algorithms to process signals from secondary gamma-quanta recording equipment, that finally will enable one to optimize the HE detection technology and work out recommendations for creation of actual HE detection systems.

This will finally make it possible to set requirements for the acceleration-detecting complex, which are needed for activation of HE elements and sufficient for its detection by the recording equipment.

In the experiments the pulse betatron, operating at VNIITF, is assumed to be employed as a radiation source. Following the appropriate experiments the final conclusion will be made on potentialities of the considered method of detecting HE hidden (placed) in different hiding volumes.


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