The Use of Modal Testing within Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement Verification

Helen White, Philip Daborn, Paula Hayden, Philip Ind, "The Use of Modal Testing within Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement Verification," Science & Global Security 22, no. 2 (2014): 135-159

The technical verification of a possible future nuclear arms control agreement is a complex challenge for technology developers. The focus of this article is on the use of modal testing techniques as a method for maintaining a chain of custody over containerized treaty accountable items (TAI) and monitoring equipment. Modal testing is a specialized form of resonant vibration analysis often used for the purpose of structural identification, condition monitoring, and damage detection. From a chain of custody perspective, it was postulated that a modal vibration signature might be used to identify a particular treaty accountable container or container/object system, or provide evidence of tampering. This article considers the advantages and disadvantages of modal testing as a potential chain of custody tool. Experimental results are discussed relating to deployment, tamper indication, unique identification and data analysis methodology.

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