24 October 2012 Medical isotope identification with large mobile detection systems
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Abstract
The Remote Sensing laboratory (RSL) of National Security Technologies Inc. has built an array of large (5.08 - cm x 10.16 – cm x 40.6 - cm) thallium doped sodium iodide (NaI: Tl) scintillators to locate and screen gamma-ray emitting radioisotopes that are of interests to radiological emergency responders [1]. These vehicle mounted detectors provide the operators with rapid, simple, specific information for radiological threat assessment. Applications include large area inspection, customs inspection, border protection, emergency response, and monitoring of radiological facilities. These RSL mobile units are currently being upgraded to meet the Defense Threat Reduction Agency mission requirements for a next-generation system capable of detecting and identifying nuclear threat materials. One of the challenging problems faced by these gamma-ray detectors is the unambiguous identification of medical isotopes like 131I (364.49 keV [81.7%], 636.99 keV [7.17%]), 99Tcm (140.51 keV [89.1%]) and 67Ga (184.6 keV [19.7%], 300.2 [16.0%], 393.5 [4.5%] that are used in radionuclide therapy and often have overlapping gamma-ray energy regions of interest (ROI). The problem is made worse by short (about 5 seconds) acquisition time of the spectral data necessary for dynamic mobile detectors. This article describes attempts to identify medical isotopes from data collected from this mobile detection system in a short period of time (not exceeding 5 secs) and a large standoff distance (typically ~ 10 meters) The mobile units offer identification capabilities that are based on hardware auto stabilization of the amplifier gain. The 1461 keV gamma-energy line from 40K is tracked. It uses gamma-ray energy windowing along with embedded mobile Gamma Detector Response and Analysis Software (GADRAS) [2] simultaneously to deconvolve any overlapping gamma-energy ROIs. These high sensitivity detectors are capable of resolving complex masking scenarios and exceed all ANSI N42.34 (2006) requirements for the identification of bare, shielded and multiple isotopes.
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Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Richard Maurer, Richard Maurer, } "Medical isotope identification with large mobile detection systems", Proc. SPIE 8507, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIV, 85071B (24 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.929189; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.929189
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