Contraband Detection System
TRIUMF has developed a detection system that can "see" plastic explosives or illicit drugs in luggage and cargo. Even if the contraband is hidden, by scanning with gamma rays the Contraband Detection System (CDS) will provide 3-dimensional images of even small amounts of plastic explosives or illicit drugs. Unlike many current detection systems, which rely on x-rays to find explosives, the CDS makes use of the fact that both of these contain nitrogen-14 or chlorine-35, and can be detected using a phenomenon called Gamma Resonance Absorption (GRA). Essentially these atomic nuclei strongly absorb gamma rays of specific wavelengths. By scanning the containers with the correct wavelength of gamma rays, the CDS can measure both the nitrogen (or chlorine) density, and the total density (as done by x-rays). This information is then used by the computer to display significant qualities of the targeted substances.