Swedish researcher devises improved way to find terrorist explosives, land mines.
A new procedure using a relative of the better known magnetic resonance imaging technology enables locating of land mines, bombs, etc., by detecting the actual explosive. The result of research at Uppsala University in Sweden by Erik Gudmundson, using a technology called NQR (Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance), could also pinpoint explosives in airport security checks.
Together with research groups at Lund University and King's College London, UK, Gudmundson studied the NQR technique and discovered that it has the advantage of not using the strong magnetic fields needed in the magnetic resonance imaging. This means that the technique can be portable, which is a prerequisite for landmine removal. He also studied ways to remove interferences that impede detection and ways to make the measurement faster, which is another imperative for the technology to be practically viable.
"The next step is to move technology from the laboratory and into the field," said Gudmundson. He also studied the MR tomography together with a research group at Stanford University in California. In this case, their objective entailed developing methods to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue.
Source: Uppsala University
How 300g of the explosive TNT would appear on an NQR technique-based instrument. The Fourier transform of the N-14 NQR signal for 300 g TNT detected by the high-Tc rf SQUID. Source: Superconductor Science and Technology