Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drugs And Explosives: End-To-End Inspection

27.03.2008
Specialists from the Institute of Solid State Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences (town of Chernogolovka, Moscow Region), together with their colleagues from Joined Institute for Nuclear Research and the ASPECT Close Joint-Stock Company – Research and Production Center (town of Dubna, Moscow Region) are developing antiterrorist transmission device for express detection of explosives, toxic and narcotic substances.

The future device operation is based on object translucence by a fast neutron flux and on subsequent recording of spectra of roentgen fluorescence induced by neutrons. Certainly, this is not the safest method for dangerous substances detection – people should be at the twenty to thirty meter distance during the inspection. But, on the other hand, the method is very efficient – nothing can be hidden from such control.

It takes only five minutes to get complete information about the object – its 3D image, including all articles hidden inside the object and their chemical composition. So, one can quickly detect what is hidden inside a truck or a carriage, for example, where heroin or trinitrotoluene is concealed, and where there are simply sugar bags without any dangerous ‘enclosure’.

The device under design has several peculiarities, two of which are most important. One of them is the original neutron scanner construction of a new type based on thin-walled sapphire tubes, and the second is the original construction of X-radiation detectors that are made in the form of 3D matrices of reciprocally intersecting scintillation fibers. These peculiarities enable to perform the inspection quicker, more conveniently and precisely than similar-purpose devices existing so far. Besides, the device dimensions and its power consumption will also decrease significantly.

The device will operate approximately as follows. In the neutron scanner, the flux of deuterons (accelerated in a specially grown sapphire tube) hits the tritium target set at the tube butt-end. At that, each reaction (one hit) forms a fast neutron and an alpha particle (helium nucleus) flying directly in the opposite direction. It is difficult to directly characterize these neutrons (to measure the direction, velocity and energy of each neutron), but it is easy to do than indirectly – with the help of alpha particles paired to them. If a fast neutron flies through the tube walls and further through the object, alpha particles are held back by a thin film of a substance that glows upon interaction with an alpha particle. As a result, it can be determined how many neutrons were formed and in what direction and at what time they ‘flew out’. This is the first step – to detemine characteristics of scanning irradiation.

When a fast neutron collides with an atom, it ‘induces’ the atom for a short while. Coming back to the initial condition, the induced atom nucleus generates (emits) a gamma-quantum with certain energy, this energy being the value typical of atoms of each element. Consequently, recording of such secondary gamma-quantums can determine what elements the object under investigation is made of. Certainly, the ‘gross’ analysis is of no interest – a 3D image is needed to detect where materials of the target composition are located. The detector based on multiple piled thin scintillation fibers (a row is placed lengthwise, another row is placed across like a pile of logs, thus making ten rows altogether) enables to record the source of specified gamma radiation with precise indication to disposition of its thin scintillation fibers, which researchers from the Institute of Solid State Physics (Russian Academy of Sciences) have learnt to grow from melt.

As a result, knowing parameters of the ‘hitting’ neutron flux and precise characteristics of each of neutrons, as well as parameters of induced gamma radiation, one can in principle reveal the genuine contents of the object (of course with the help of a PC and proper software) and to find dangerous articles where no other devices or specially trained keen-nosed dog can detect it. “To be more precise, adds one of the authors, Nikolai Klassen, Ph. D. (Physics&Mathematics), devices based on fast neutrons do exist in principle. But our device is more compact (therefore, it can be produced in a portable version, which is very important for antiterrorist and drug controlling that becomes possible in any location where a suspicious automobile is stopped) and it provides information quicker, to a fuller extent and in a less expensive way.”

In fact, the device per se does not exist yet. Its design has been developed, individual elements are ready, developed and tested. However, some components of the future device exist only ‘on paper’ for the time being – the researchers know how to produce them but the implementation requires funding. Since the work is extremely important not only for scientists but for everybody in general, the funds will hopefully be raised.

Olga Myznikova | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>