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Possible to detect presence of nuclear bomb?

Discussion in 'Missiles & WMDs' started by birdus, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. birdus

    birdus New Member

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    Take, for instance, a W-80 nuclear warhead. Does technology exist, say in the form of a satellite or drone, that could detect the warhead's presence (assuming it's not enclosed in some kind of shielding)? I'm writing a novel. The bad guy has a W-80 in the trunk of his car. Is there technology that could find him as he drives down the highway?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  2. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    No, distance is the enemy of detection. A bomb going through a border screening device will detect gamma or x-ray emmisions but these emissions can’t be detected from UAVs let alone satellites except upon detonation.
     
  3. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    If such recent technology does exist, it would be kept secret. Nuclear weapons, their security, methods for detecting their presence etc., are closely guarded secrets by all the nuclear powers. Since we are a professional defence forum, nuclear weapons security is an area that we do not speculate upon, nor encourage speculation upon.

    Regarding your research, because your question has a science background to it as well, I would suggest that you attack it from a quantum physics angle, starting with the presumption that the warhead will be shielded as per SOP. If it isn't, your bad guy isn't going to live very long at all. There is plenty of material available in the scientific literature that is not OPSEC that should help you. If you don't have a basic understanding of physics, find someone who does and is able to explain it to you and guide you.
     
  4. birdus

    birdus New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts, guys. I appreciate it.