Design and validation of inert homemade explosive simulants for X-ray-based inspection systems


  1. Faust, A.A.
  2. Nacson, S.
  3. Koffler, B.
  4. Bourbeau, E.
  5. Gagne, L.
  6. Laing, R.
  7. Anderson, C.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
Transport Canada (TC), the Canadian Armed Forces, and other public security agencies have an interest in the assessment of the potential utility of advanced explosives detection technologies to aid in the detection and interdiction of commercial grade, military grade, and homemade or improvised explosives (HME or IE). The availability of suitable, non-hazardous, non-toxic, explosive simulants is of concern when assessing the potential utility of such detection systems. Lack of simulants limits the training opportunities, and ultimately the detection probability, of security personnel using these systems. While simulants for commercial and military grade explosives are available for a wide variety of detection technologies, the design and production of materials to simulate improvised explosives has not kept pace with this emerging threat. With the support of TC, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), Visiontec Systems, and Optosecurity engaged in an effort to develop inert, non-toxic X-ray interrogation simulants for IE materials such as ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate, and triacetone triperoxide. These simulants were designed to mimic key X-ray interrogation-relevant material properties of real improvised explosives, principally their bulk density and effective atomic number. Different forms of the simulants were produced and tested, simulating the different explosive threat formulations that could be encountered by front line security workers. These simulants
homemade explosives;improvised explosives;X-ray;simulant
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2014-P83 — External Literature
Date of publication
24 Apr 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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