Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR) for Detection of Explosives and Landmines

A. N. Garroway, M. L. Buess, J. B. Miller, K. J. McGrath,
J. P. Yesinowski, B. H. Suits, and G. R. Miller
Pure nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) of 14N nuclei is quite promising as a method for detecting explosives such as RDX, HMX, TNT, PETN, AN, etc. in quantities of interest. Because NQR frequencies of different compounds are quite distinct, false alarms from the NQR signals of other benign materials are not encountered. 'Threat quantities' of explosives within a 3000-liter inspection volume can be detected in 6 seconds in a laboratory prototype. NQR is being examined for detection of landmines. The basics of the NQR approach are first presented, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, followed by representative results for explosives detection.

Currently, NRL has licensed NQR explosives and contraband detection technology to Quantum Magnetics Inc. (San Diego, CA).

Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Analysis and Detection of Explosives, Prague 1998, Chap 19, Edited by Petr Mostak (Research Inst. Industrial Chem, Pardubice-Semtin, 1999).

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