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Defence R&D Canada has an active research and development program on detection of explosive devices using nuclear methods. One system under development is a coded aperture-based X-ray backscatter imaging detector designed to provide sufficient speed, contrast and spatial resolution to detect antipersonnel landmines and improvised explosive devices. The successful development of a hand-held imaging detector requires, among other things, a light-weight, ruggedized detector with low power requirements, supplying high spatial resolution. The University of California, San Diego-designed HEXIS detector provides a modern, large area, high-temperature CZT imaging surface, robustly packaged in a light-weight housing with sound mechanical properties. Based on the potential for the HEXIS detector to be incorporated as the detection element of a hand-held imaging detector, the authors initiated a collaborative effort to demonstrate the capability of a coded aperture-based X-ray backscatter imaging detector. This paper will discuss the landmine and IED detection problem and review the coded aperture technique. Results from initial proof-of-principle experiments will then be reported.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009