12 May 2016 Tritium-powered radiation sensor network
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Abstract
Isotope power supplies offer long-lived (100 years using 63Ni), low-power energy sources, enabling sensors or communications nodes for the lifetime of infrastructure. A tritium beta-source (12.5-year half-life) encapsulated in a phosphor-lined vial couples directly to a photovoltaic (PV) to generate a trickle current into an electrical load. An inexpensive design is described using commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) components that generate 100 μWe for nextgeneration compact electronics/sensors. A matched radiation sensor has been built for long-duration missions utilizing microprocessor-controlled sleep modes, low-power electronic components, and a passive interrupt driven environmental wake-up. The low-power early-warning radiation detector network and isotope power source enables no-maintenance mission lifetimes.
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Marc S. Litz, Marc S. Litz, Johnny A. Russo, Johnny A. Russo, Dimos Katsis, Dimos Katsis, "Tritium-powered radiation sensor network", Proc. SPIE 9824, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVII, 982412 (12 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2222177; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2222177
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