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Applied Magnetic Resonance

, 25:535 | Cite as

Development and evaluation of magnetic resonance technologies, particularly NMR, for detection of explosives

  • J. D. King
  • A. De Los Santos
Article

Abstract

Beginning in 1972 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technologies for detecting explosives and illegal contraband were developed and evaluated at the Southwest Research Institute. Fullscale systems on the basis of hydrogen transient NMR were developed and evaluated in laboratory and field tests with generally favorable results but with some limitations. These included (1) an experimental, mobile system for detecting buried, nonmetallic land mines; (2) an instrument for inspection of letters and small parcels for small quantities of explosives or illegal drugs; (3) a system for inspection of checked airline baggage and air cargo for concealed explosives and illegal drugs; and (4) a system for rapid inspection of quantities of mail for illegal drugs.1H NMR offers high sensitivity and detects high-energy explosives such as RDX, TNT, and PETN, as well as nitroglycerine and ammonium-nitrate-based explosives and illegal drugs. Challenges in both physics and engineering were successfully addressed to achieve the goals of rapid inspection with low false-alarm and high detection probability. Electron paramagnetic resonance was found suitable for detecting black powder in laboratory tests as was nuclear quadrupole resonance for a few high-energy explosives. Low-field1H NMR was also explored in the laboratory to make it practical for explosives detection and found to have potential, but numerous implementation problems must be overcome.

Keywords

Nuclear Magnetic Reso Explosive Electron Paramagnetic Resonance PETN Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. King
    • 1
  • A. De Los Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Science and Engineering Research DivisionSouthwest Research InstituteSan AntonioUSA

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