24 August 2017 Challenges in the quantitative optical detection of radiation
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Modern ultraviolet (UV) cameras, when combined with UV-transmitting lenses/filter arrangements, can be used to detect radiation dose in air. Ionizing radiation excites nitrogen molecules in ambient air, the resulting decay includes weak emission of ultraviolet photons. Previous work has proven this phenomenon is detectable using highly-sensitive electronically cooled cameras traditionally used in astronomy for low-background imaging 6,7 . While the ability to detect the presence of radiation (i.e. qualitative measurement) has been demonstrated at Sandia National Laboratories, there are several challenges in correlating images to known dose-fields (quantitative measurement). These challenges include: a low signal to background ratio, interferences due to electronic noise and direct radiation interactions with the camera, and a complex source-dependent detection efficiency. Based on measurements of low-level radioactive sources as well as high-level sources at several irradiation facilities at Sandia National Laboratories, researchers are developing deeper understanding of these challenges in an attempt to engineer a system that can be used for quantitatively measuring radiation dose fields remotely. This paper will describe these efforts and share the lessons learned from several experiments.
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Sean D. Fournier, Sean D. Fournier, Richard K. Harrison, Richard K. Harrison, Dora K. Wiemann, Dora K. Wiemann, Jeffrey B. Martin, Jeffrey B. Martin, } "Challenges in the quantitative optical detection of radiation", Proc. SPIE 10392, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIX, 103921C (24 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2277059; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2277059

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