With its expertise in nuclear techniques, BTI provides innovative and reliable solutions for explosives detection.
BTI is the first and only company in the world to successfully build landmine detection equipment based on thermal
neutron analysis (TNA). Systems equipped with BTI’s TNA sensors have been deployed by the Canadian military for anti-tank
mine applications. On-going refinements in detection algorithms and the implementation of a specially-designed, compact
electronic neutron generator continue to yield dramatic performance improvements. BTI is applying TNA and similar nuclear
interrogation techniques to a wide range of explosives detection applications.
A recent demonstration of the breadth of BTI capabilities was the project for the Canadian Department of National
Defence involving the development of a thermal neutron analysis (TNA) sensor for the Integrated Landmine
Detection System. This sensor uses a 252Cf source (an accelerator-based neutron interrogation system was also developed)
to activate nitrogen in landmine explosives, and then detect the resultant high-energy gamma rays.
BTI was the subcontractor chosen by General Dynamics Canada to provide the TNA sensor as the confirmatory
sensor for the ILDS. The project involved the conceptual design of the head – comprising the neutron initiator, radiation
detectors and special shielding materials – optimized for maximum sensor sensitivity using powerful neutronic computations.
BTI staff developed a special ultra-fast electronic signal processing system to complement the sensor head, and engineered
and tested all components of Minespec. The final product – Minespec – has performance specifications unmatched by any
landmine sensor system in the world. Four Minespecs were delivered in 2001.
Minespec development involved ancillary studies and products. Special TNA “boots” were designed, built
and tested by BTI to transport the Cf source with maximum safety under military conditions. This required extensive expertise
in radiation shielding and mechanical design. The resulting “boot” is a composite cylindrical shield of special materials
weighing 11,000kg, anchored to a modified ISO pallet to meet radiation transport requirements.