Scientific staff:    Univ.Prof. Dr. Manfred Drosg


Fast neutron research:

In a cooperation with Los Alamos National Laboratory, going back to the year 1969, neutron and gamma ray data both for basic physics and applied purposes are being measured and evaluated. The data reduction and evaluation is done at the institute.

More recently, in a cooperation with the University of Cape Town neutron experiments for applied purposes are made at the National Accelerator Centre of South Africa in Faure.


 Recent high-lights:

1.       Invention of a nuclear method for the identification and possibly the detection of hidden explosives. This invention is based on the fact that as a rule, at least 1 out of 4 atoms in an explosive is hydrogen. It was shown experimentally that as little as 130 g of Urea can be measured very easily when covered with 14 cm of sand. So it is likely that mines with only 100g explosive with a cover of up to 30 cm of soil can be detected. This sensitivity is far superior to that of any other nuclear method in use or proposed. A vehicle based prototype device with a total mass of less than 600 kg is proposed at a cost of less than 1 million $. Using the associated charged particle technique both the weight and the cost could be reduced at least by a factor of ten.

2.       A book with the title “Dealing With Uncertainties” was finished to be published by Springer, Heidelberg.


a.             International Co-operations


Nuclear Data Section

Physics Section


Los Alamos National Laboratory

NNDC of Brookhaven National Laboratory


Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute, Tokai-mura


Centre d'Etudes de Bruyeres-le-Chatel


KfK, Karlsruhe

South Africa

University of Cape Town, Rondebosch

National Accelerator Centre, Faure

b.             Internal Co-operations

Institut für Radiumforschung und Kernphysik, Wien


F. D. Brooks, M. DROSG, A. Buffler and M. S. Allie: " Detection of anti-personnel landmines by neutron scattering and attenuation” , Appl.Rad.Isot. 61, 27 (2004) http://www.ap.univie.ac.at/users/drosg/backscatt.htm

Abstract: Four methods for employing neutrons to detect abandoned small anti-personnel landmines are presented and discussed. The techniques used are based on measurements of effects due to the scattering of neutrons on the hydrogen content of the landmine.

M. Drosg  and F. D. Brooks: “Increasing the capability of MNBRP for the detection of anti-personnel landmines”, Appl.Rad.Isot., accepted for publicartion

Abstract: Monte Carlo simulations were used to show that even very small explosives (<100g) can be detected by MNBRP (monoenergetic neutron backscattering with resonance penetration) at a depth well beyond 30 cm when time slicing is used for background suppression. At the present state of technology no other nuclear method appears to have a comparable sensitivity or penetration capability. This method has been successfully tested experimentally at a depth of 16.5 cm. A substantial simplification of the detection procedure could be achieved either by taking advantage of the time shadow rather than the geometric shadow or by applying neutron threshold detectors. Using a threshold detector could simplify the application, too.

F.D. Brooks and M. Drosg:The HYDAD-D antipersonnel landmine detector”, Appl.Rad.Isot., accepted for publicartion

Abstract: HYDAD (HYdrogen Density Anomaly Detection) systems have been developed to detect small (> 200 g) antipersonnel landmines (APM) of plastic construction. The HYDAD-D detector is based on the earlier HYDAD designs HYDAD-H and HYDAD-VM. It consists of a neutron source and two identical slow neutron detectors. The difference between the responses of the two detectors is monitored as a function of position in the minefield and APM detection is based on an analysis of this difference. Laboratory tests and Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that HYDAD-D is capable of detecting the IAEA standard dummy landmine DLM2 at burial depths up to 23 cm in dry sand and at burial depths up to 7 cm in damp sand containing 12 % (by mass) water.



M. Drosg, “Dealing With Uncertainties. A Guide to Error Analysis”, accepted by Springer, Heidelberg, for publication



"Increasing the capability of MNBRP for the detection of anti-personnel landmines by time-slicing”, Talk at the 8th International Conference on Applications of Nuclear Techniques, Crete, 12 - 18 September 2004.



Referent für Appl.Rad.Isot.

Referent für Nucl.Sci.Eng.