Application of the modified transient plane source technique for early detection of liquid explosives

Abstract: The paper will review the feasibility of adapting the Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) method as a screening tool for early-detection of explosives and hazardous materials. Materials can be distinguished from others based on their inherent thermal properties (e.g. thermal effusivity) in testing through different types of barrier materials. A complimentary advantage to this technique relative to other traditional detection technologies is that it can penetrate reflective barrier materials, such as aluminum, easily. A strong proof-of-principle is presented on application of the MTPS transient thermal property measuring in the early-screening of liquid explosives. The work demonstrates a significant sensitivity to distinguishing a wide range of fluids based on their thermal properties through a barrier material. The work covers various complicating factors to the longer-term adoption of such a method including the impact of carbonization and viscosity. While some technical challenges remain, the technique offers significant advantages in complimenting existing detection methods in being able to penetrate reflective metal containers (e.g. aluminum soft drinkscans) with ease.

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