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27 August 2015 Time gating for energy selection and scatter rejection: High-energy pulsed neutron imaging at LANSCE
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Abstract
The Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) is a linear accelerator in Los Alamos, New Mexico that accelerates a proton beam to 800 MeV, which then produces spallation neutron beams. Flight path FP15R uses a tungsten target to generate neutrons of energy ranging from several hundred keV to ~600 MeV. The beam structure has micropulses of sub-ns width and period of 1.784 ns, and macropulses of 625 μs width and frequency of either 50 Hz or 100 Hz. This corresponds to 347 micropulses per macropulse, or 1.74 x 104 micropulses per second when operating at 50 Hz. Using a very fast, cooled ICCD camera (Princeton Instruments PI-Max 4), gated images of various objects were obtained on FP15R in January 2015. Objects imaged included blocks of lead and borated polyethylene; a tungsten sphere; and a tungsten, polyethylene, and steel cylinder. Images were obtained in 36 min or less, with some in as little as 6 min. This is novel because the gate widths (some as narrow as 10 ns) were selected to reject scatter and other signal not of interest (e.g. the gamma flash that precedes the neutron pulse), which has not been demonstrated at energies above 14 MeV. This proof-of-principle experiment shows that time gating is possible above 14MeV and is useful for selecting neutron energy and reducing scatter, thus forming clearer images. Future work (simulation and experimental) is being undertaken to improve camera shielding and system design and to precisely determine optical properties of the imaging system.
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Alicia Swift, Richard Schirato, Edward McKigney, James Hunter, and Brian Temple "Time gating for energy selection and scatter rejection: High-energy pulsed neutron imaging at LANSCE", Proc. SPIE 9595, Radiation Detectors: Systems and Applications XVI, 95950J (27 August 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2188440
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