In order to detect and locate buried landmines for peacekeeping, the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), under
the Improved Landmine Detection Project, is developing a vehicle-mounted, two-phase mine detection system. The first phase
constitutes a suite of detectors used to indicate the possibility of a mine at a particular location (to ±30 cm in accuracy).
In the second phase a Thermal Neutron Activation (TNA) system is used to confirm the presence of explosives via detection
of the 10.83 MeV gamma-ray associated with nitrogen decay. The TNA system developed for this uses a 100 μg252Cf neutron source surrounded by four 3″×3″ NaI(Tl) detectors. Combining the use of state-of-the art radiation transport codes
for design, judicious choice of specialized shielding materials and development of high-rate, fast-pulse processing electronics,
has led to a system which can; (i) confirm the presence of all surface- or lightly-buried anti-tank mines in a few seconds
to a minute (depending on mass of explosive), (ii) confirm the presence of anti-tank mines down to 20 cm depth in less than
5 minutes, (iii) confirm the presence of large (>100 g nitrogen) anti-personnel mines in less than five minutes, (iv) operate
in adverse climatic conditions. These results have been verified in field trials and the system is due to be fielded in 1999.