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Cosmic ray muon tomography system using drift chambers for the detection of Special Nuclear Materials

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17 Author(s)

The smuggling of illicit Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) and Radiological Materials (RM) is a major security concern. Current radiation detection systems for cargo are not sensitive to well-shielded nuclear materials. The Muon Scattering Tomography (MST) method that we are developing might be a solution to this problem. It is based on the measurement of multiple scattering of cosmic ray-induced muons, traversing high-Z materials such as uranium and plutonium. This is possible due to the muons' highly penetrating nature. The technique involves measuring the angular deflections of these muons with charged particle tracking detectors placed around the object to be probed. One candidate detector is the single wire drift chamber. It can measure the 2-D impact position of a muon. The CRIPT (Cosmic Ray Inspection and Passive Tomography) collaboration has performed computer simulations of detectors designed to detect SNM via MST. We have also worked on the development of image reconstruction algorithms, and simulated the performances of different and the response of the drift chambers. In addition to these efforts, the collaboration has built three prototypes which are being tested.

Published in:

Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record (NSS/MIC), 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

Oct. 30 2010-Nov. 6 2010