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Radioisotope detection and identification at high speeds using passive sensors

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2 Author(s)
C. R. Jones ; Appl. Res. Associates, Inc., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; R. E. Evans

A network of radiation sensors for the protection of a military base against radiological/nuclear threats has been integrated in a testbed. Two key subsystems of this network are the array of sensitive radiation detectors and the subsystem for notifying the operators of radiation events. The alarm/alert notification subsystem automatically issues notifications to the command post in real-time. The resulting reporting to the command post appears to be adequate for non-technical operational personnel. The CONOPS for the protection system relies on the sensitive detection and identification of all radioactive sources well before the transporting vehicles reach the base gates. This is a unique feature of this protection system. Discriminating sodium-iodide detectors, in conjunction with plastic scintillators and neutron detectors comprise a high-performance detection subsystem. The use of various correlation techniques has permitted the demonstration of the detection of source strengths of tens of μCi moving at highway speeds and at several meters separation. A companion algorithm identifies the detected radioisotope when sufficient counts are available.

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 4 )