Neutron Methods

The idea is to fire a bunch of neutrons at the soil and watch for radiation indicative of Nitrogen. Neutron Moderation is the only viably portably technique, but this technique will also detect hydrogen in soil moisture.

Limitations:

  • Requires low soil moisture
  • Requires several seconds to acquire an image and is thus more useful for confirmation than primary detection.

Low power neutron sources are currently under development by the Canadian department of defense. Most useful for confirmation of detection by other methods.

Depth:
10cm - 20cm

Time:
Several seconds

Sensitivity:
Theoretically High (no studies performed)

Power:
Stream of neutrons:
Dedicated generator and/or quantity of highly radioactive material

Weight:
Dedicated humvee

Cost:
Unknown ($100k?)

More notes:
Low soil moisture required
Will detect pockets of water as mines (pockets of Nitrogen)
Human-portable, low-power detectors do not yet exist

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