Design and validation of inert homemade explosive simulants for Ground Penetrating Radar


  1. VanderGaast, B.W.
  2. McFee, J.E.
  3. Russell, K.L.
  4. Faust, A.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) identi_ed a requirement for inert simulants to act as improvised, or home- made, explosives (IEs) when training on, or evaluating, ground penetrating radar (GPR) systems commonly used in the detection of buried landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In response, Defence R&D Canada (DRDC) initiated a project to develop IE simulant formulations using commonly available inert materials. These simulants are intended to approximate the expected GPR response of common ammonium nitrate-based IEs, in particular ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO) and ammonium nitrate/aluminum (ANAl). The complex permit- tivity over the range of electromagnetic frequencies relevant to standard GPR systems was measured for bulk quantities of these three IEs that had been fabricated at DRDC Su_eld Research Centre. Following these mea- surements, published literature was examined to _nd benign materials with both a similar complex permittivity, as well as other physical properties deemed desirable | such as low-toxicity, thermal stability, and commercial availability | in order to select candidates for subsequent simulant formulation. Suitable simulant formulations were identi_ed for ANFO, with resulting complex permittivities measured to be within acceptable limits of target values. These IE formulations will now undergo end-user trials with CAF operators in order to con_rm their utility. Investigations into ANAl simulants continues. This progress report outlines
improvised explosives;homemade explosives;ground penetrating radar;simulant;training aide;GPR;HME;simulants
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-P085 — External Literature
Date of publication
21 Oct 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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