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Identification of Unauthorized Explosions


Development of Quick Identification System of Terrorist Explosions of Chemical Explosive Materials According to the Parameters of the Radiations’ Signals Accompanying the Process of Detonation

Tech Area / Field

  • INF-SIG/Sensors and Signal Processing/Information and Communications
  • MAT-EXP/Explosives/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • G. Tsulukidze Mining Institute, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Pennsylvania State University / Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA, Cato Park

Project summary

The goal of the project is the development and investigation of quick identification system (QIS) of the terrorist explosions of chemical explosive materials (CEM) according to the parameters of the radiations’ signals accompanying the detonations process for its application in the automatic protection devices (APD), limiting ruinous consequences of explosions’ actions in constructions with extended length, and limited cross sections.

The urgency of developing QIS of the unauthorized explosions has increased owing to the growing threat of terrorist acts. Terrorist explosions are most dangerous in constructions characterized by a closed space. Regularity of air’s shock waves propagation in lengthy constructions with restricted cross sections results in considerable increase of ruinous consequences of explosions’ actions. Explosions in subways, underground passages, underground sections of motorways and railways and other similar buildings causes more powerful ruinous consequences of explosions' actions than identical explosions in an open space. It is necessary to guess that terrorists will take into account this aspect when designing acts of terrorism. Development of effective QIS will prepare grounds for designing the APD, means for localization of ruinous consequences of explosions' actions in the constructions with extended length and limited cross sections. The Project is a logical continuation of the investigation carried out by the project's participants within the framework of the project supported by the CRDF (# GG2–2483–TB–02), in which structure of the APD is based on main components of explosions’ QIS.

For several years, the problem of explosions’ identification was limited to verification of compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban and non-proliferation Treaty. There were formed two fundamental methods of explosions’ identification at long epicentral distances in regional and subregional zones (up to 104 km.) based on the comparison of:

  • amplitude-time characteristics of seismic waves of nuclear explosions, earthquakes and large-scale industrial explosions of buried charges of the CEM;
  • parameters of the electromagnetic radiations’ pulses accompanying the processes of rocks’ dispersion at large-scale underground explosions and earthquakes;

Despite the significance of the attained results, these methods (or their combination) cannot be applied in the QIS of unauthorized explosions owing to a lengthy process of identification, caused by the need of multi-operational processing of registered signals.

New and distinctive feature of the project is the determination of the most informative indications of an event at the stage of explosive charge conversion and their application in the APD for maximal localization of the consequences of the terrorist explosions in constructions of the extended length and limited cross sections. In this connection must be noted that explosions’ quick identification is executes based on of multicriteria analysis of concomitant radiations’ signals ensuring reliability of the identifying features. Thus, as compared with the practice of identification of powerful explosions according to the parameters of the ground’s seismic transients at long epicentral distances, the proposed project provides for the identification of effects of external CEM charge's explosions in near-field regions according to the parameters of the radiations’ signals accompanying the detonations process. It enables to generate a start signal for the actuation APD in the real time.

The project's goal can be reached by usage of the investigations’ outcomes in the field of the explosion physics according to which detonation of external CEM charges are accompanied by generation of the electromagnetic emanations in the environment. The transformation of the CEM in plasma condition occurs with a speed of the charge's detonation, while electromagnetic wave spreads with the velocity of light. This creates a possibility of quick identification of the explosion of external CEM charge according to the parameters of the electromagnetic pulses in a RF range and flashes of detonation wave's luminescence in visible and infrared range of the light-spectrum.

The proposed work program and research methodology envisage:

  • investigation of the characteristic indications of the radiations’ signals accompanying the explosions of external charges of the different types of the CEM (Hexogen, TNT, Ammonite, Plastic) with mass up to 10 kg and of blast initiation means (detonators, demolition cords) in near-field region of effect, i.e. in conditions similar to terrorist acts;
  • investigation of the characteristic indications of the radiations’ signals of non-explosive man-caused influences (electric welding, power switching, power system operations, movement of an electric locomotive, etc.);
  • comparison and separation of an informative characteristics of the radiations’ signals of explosive and non-explosive influences, selection of the identification’s criteria and development of the operations’ algorithm of the QIS;
  • development of a microprocessor-based hardware and software of the QIS;
  • testing of the QIS at explosions of the different types of the CEM in area of the man-caused noises, determination of most practical positions of the components of the QIS and definition of reliability of the identification criteria.

Experimental investigations will conduct in an underground explosive chamber of the Mining Institute of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, equipped with necessary measurement instruments for registering rapid processes including recording of the radiations’ signals accompanying the explosions of external charges of the CEM.

Specialists of following fields of researches will be invited to take part in operations for the project’s realization:

  1. scientists, engineers and qualified experts, competent in the explosion physics of the CEM, in practicing blasting operations, in adjustment and exploitation of the blasting chamber and equipment registering rapid processes;
  2. scientists and engineers competent in the researches' field of earthquakes, seismic, hydroblow and blast shock waves, in application of the explosion’s energy in mining and metallurgy, in creation of composite explosive materials with given properties;
  3. scientists and engineers competent in digital signal processing; in designing of the optical converters; in designing of the microprocessor-based hardware and software for the digital information processing; in the computer-aided technologies;
  4. scientists and engineers competent in the researches’ field of planning experiments, mathematical statistics and the theory of identification and control.

Participants of the project have:
  • more than 70 publications over the last 15 years;
  • the copyrights to the inventions and patents;
  • experience of participation in international projects and conferences.

Expected results of researches

Realization of the project will provide:

  • determination of new regularity of variation of the radiations’ signals parameters accompanying the explosions of the external charges' small masses of the different types of the CEM;
  • development of the microprocessor-based hardware and software of the QIS for processing radiations' signals accompanying the explosions in the real time;
  • development and creation of the software of the QIS;
  • working out offers on use of the obtained results in civilian population’s APD from terrorist explosions for its use in the constructions with extended length and limited cross sections.

Thus, the Project's results will possess scientific and commercial potential.

The project completely corresponds to the ISTC Goals and Objectives. More than 60% of the participants are former weapons scientists and engineers. Their participation in solving the problem of localization of the terrorist explosions’ consequences completely meets the requirements and regulations of ISTC as it:

  • gives an opportunity to group of scientists and experts involved in researches on defense industry, without changing the area of their specialization, to apply their knowledge and abilities towards civil studies, which, in turn corresponds to conversion directions of ISTC activity;
  • supports applied researches, as well as development and demonstration of technologies for peace purposes, promotes the problem solving of public health and environmental protection;
  • supports the solving of national technical problems and responds to civil needs.

The role of foreign collaborators consists in:
  • discussion of researches methodology and intermediate outcomes in the course of the project’s implementation;
  • representation of comments to the technical reports to be submitted to ISTC;
  • participation in technical check of activities within the bounds of the project together with employees of ISTC;
  • conducting the working seminars;
  • elaboration of a joint plan for further use of the project's outcomes.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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