The Development of a Thermal Neutron Activation (TNA) System as a Confirmatory Non-Metallic Land Mine Detector


  1. Cousins, T.
  2. Jones, T.A.
  3. Brisson, J.R.
  4. McFee, J.E.
  5. Jamieson, T.J.
  6. and others
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
The preponderance of buried land mines represents a threat to military forces worldwide. (Current estimates put the number of mines at 110 million covering 64 countries, with a growth of about 2 million per year.) The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has a clear need to detect and locate these buried landmines when carrying out its peacekeeping activities. This problem has been addressed by the DND Improved Landmine Detection Project (ILDP) which has designed, constructed and is testing a multisensor system. The confirmatory element of the ILDP system involves positive detection of mines using Thermal Neutron Activation (TNA) and subsequent detection of nitrogen gamma rays. This work describes the design and development of the system (both from electronic and radiation shielding aspects) and the results of laboratory and field trials. The TNA system is shown capable of confirming the existence of the vast majority of anti-tank (AT) mines and many anti-personnel (AP) mines in time periods ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Neutron generators;Thermal Neutron Activation (TNA);Nonmetallic mines
Report Number
DRES-SL-2000-0152 — Paper
Date of publication
10 Oct 2000
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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