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4 September 2014 Rapid response radiation sensors for homeland security applications
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The National Security Technologies, LLC, Remote Sensing Laboratory is developing a rapid response radiation detection system for homeland security field applications. The intelligence-driven system is deployed only when non-radiological information about the target is verifiable. The survey area is often limited, so the detection range is small; in most cases covering a distance of 10 meters or less suffices. Definitive response is required in no more than 3 seconds and should minimize false negative alarms, but can err on the side of positive false alarms. The detection system is rapidly reconfigurable in terms of size, shape, and outer appearance; it is a plug-and-play system. Multiple radiation detection components (viz., two or more sodium iodide scintillators) are used to independently “over-determine” the existence of the threat object. Rapid response electronic dose rate meters are also included in the equipment suite. Carefully studied threat signatures are the basis of the decision making. The use of Rad-Detect predictive modeling provides information on the nature of the threat object. Rad-Detect provides accurate dose rate from heavily shielded large sources; for example those lost in Mexico were Category 1 radiation sources (~3,000 Ci of 60Co), the most dangerous of five categories defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Taken out of their shielding containers, Category 1 sources can kill anyone who is exposed to them at close range for a few minutes to an hour. Whenever possible sub-second data acquisition will be attempted, and, when deployed, the system will be characterized for false alarm rates. Although the radiation detection materials selected are fast (viz., faster scintillators), their speed is secondary to sensitivity, which is of primary importance. Results from these efforts will be discussed and demonstrated.
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Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Richard Maurer, and Paul Guss "Rapid response radiation sensors for homeland security applications", Proc. SPIE 9215, Radiation Detectors: Systems and Applications XV, 921504 (4 September 2014);

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