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An Advanced ESTCP PELAN System for Surface and Near-surface UXO Discrimination

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Final technical rept.

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SAIC, in collaboration with Duke University and Environmental Chemical Corporation ECC, along with Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head NAVEODTECHDIV was selected by ESTCP to build, test, demonstrate and validate a mobile, multi-detector-based Pulsed Elemental Analysis with Neutrons PELAN unit for the classification of unexploded ordnance UXO filler at cleanup sites. Based upon ECCs experience at several cleanup sites to excavate and stockpile UXO for future disposal and disposition, SAIC and ECC recommended to the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program ESTCP that the team focus on designing and testing a trailer-mounted system that addressed this immediate need. The development efforts in this redirection would still support future development of a mobile unit for which there is still a need. ESTCP approved this change in direction in December 2005. The trailer-mounted system design was developed through modeling and testing of various detectors and inspection geometries and shielding. Simulated spectra were modeled for several detector sizes and types, including LaBr3, BGO and NaI. The La-halide crystals have high-energy resolution, fast decay times, and are oxygen free and, therefore, are excellent candidates for the advanced PELAN system. One of the first commercially available 3-inch by 3-inch LaBr3 detectors was purchased from Saint-Gobain Corporation for testing and evaluation in this project. The simulated spectra of the various detectors were analyzed by Duke University using principle component analysis PCA divergence metrics were used to compare the separation of features extracted for explosives and inert fills. In general, the prediction showed that BGO detectors had the greatest ability to separate spectral features. Modeling was also used to determine the signal-to-noise ratio for a variety of setup geometries, neutrongamma-ray shielding, and moderator material.

Subject Categories:

  • Ammunition and Explosives
  • Environmental Health and Safety

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