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Publication Detail
Multivariate analysis of energy dispersive X-ray diffraction data for the detection of illicit drugs in border control
© The Author(s) 2017.A system using energy dispersive X-ray diffraction has been tested to detect the presence of illicit drugs concealed within parcels typical of those which are imported into the UK via postal and courier services. The system was used to record diffraction data from calibration samples of diamorphine (heroin) and common cutting agents and a partial least squares regression model was established between diamorphine concentration and diffraction spectra. Parcels containing various crystalline and amorphous materials, including diamorphine, were then scanned to obtain multiple localised diffraction spectra and to form a hyperspectral image. The calibration model was used for the prediction of diamorphine concentration throughout the volume of parcels and enabled the presence and location of diamorphine to be determined from the visual inspection of concentration maps. This research demonstrates for the first time the potential of an EDXRD system to generate continuous hyperspectral images of real parcels from volume scanning in security applications and introduces the opportunity to explore hyperspectral image analysis in chemical and material identification. However, more work must be done to make the system ready for implementation in border control operations by bringing down the procedure time to operational requirements and by proving the system's portability.
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