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5 June 2014 Tritium power source for long-lived sensors
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A tritium-based indirect converting photovoltaic (PV) power source has been designed and prototyped as a long-lived (~15 years) power source for sensor networks. Tritium is a biologically benign beta emitter and low-cost isotope acquired from commercial vendors for this purpose. The power source combines tritium encapsulated with a radioluminescent phosphor coupled to a commercial PV cell. The tritium, phosphor, and PV components are packaged inside a BA5590-style military-model enclosure. The package has been approved by the nuclear regulatory commission (NRC) for use by DOD. The power source is designed to produce 100μW electrical power for an unattended radiation sensor (scintillator and avalanche photodiode) that can detect a 20 μCi source of 137Cs at three meters. This beta emitting indirect photon conversion design is presented as step towards the development of practical, logistically acceptable, lowcost long-lived compact power sources for unattended sensor applications in battlefield awareness and environmental detection.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. S. Litz, D. C. Katsis, J. A. Russo, and J. J. Carroll "Tritium power source for long-lived sensors", Proc. SPIE 9115, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications V, 91150J (5 June 2014);


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