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We have developed a near field coded aperture imaging system for use with fast neutron techniques as a tool for the detection of contraband and hidden explosives through nuclear elemental analysis. The technique relies on the prompt gamma rays produced by fast neutron interactions with the object being examined. The position of the nuclear elements is determined by the location of the gamma emitters. For existing fast neutron techniques, in pulsed fast neutron analysis (PFNA), neutrons are used with very low efficiency; in fast neutron analysis (FNA), the sensitivity for detection of the signature gamma rays is very low. For the coded aperture fast neutron analysis (CAFNA/sup (R)/) we have developed, the efficiency for both using the probing fast neutrons and detecting the prompt gamma rays is high.