Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.70, No.3 (2009)

Research paper

Development of NQR explosive detection technique for transportation security
Akiko Konnai, Tetsuo Asaji, Hitoshi Nohmi, and Naoteru Odano


Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR) technique is expected as a promising method for explosive detection, since some major explosives are known to possess the substance-specific NQR frequency. We have developed a prototype of NQR explosive detection system and examined the applicability of NQR technique to explosive detection for transportation, in particular, aviation security. In this study, we examined two types of surface coils, nonlinear spiral and gradiometertype, and several large volumetric solenoids as sensors for detection of explosives hidden in shoe and baggage, respectively. The limit distance for detection of 500 g of NaNO2 was ca. 8.5 cm above the surface of gradiometer coil without electromagnetic shield. The gradiometer coil also clearly detected 300 g of hexahydro-1, 3, 5-trinitro-1, 3, 5-triazine (RDX) located 3.5 cm above the coil-surface without the shield. A blind test of NQR as well as X-ray baggage screening tests were conducted with 50 baggage-samples containing RDX or non-explosive materials at the security-check gate in the airport. The resulting false positive rate of NQR screening with large solenoid was about one-tenth of that of the conventional X-ray inspection. It indicates that the security-check by NQR explosive detection technique is useful for the transportation security.

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RDX, Explosive detection, NQR, Aviation security.

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