We describe the design optimization process and performance characterization of a next generation neutron telescope, with imaging and energy measurement capabilities, sensitive to neutrons in the 1-20 MeV energy range. The response of the Fast Neutron Imaging Telescope (FNIT), its efficiency in neutron detection, energy resolution and imaging capabilities were characterized through a combination of lab tests and Monte Carlo simulations. Monte Carlo simulations, together with experimental data, are also being used in the development and testing of the image reconstruction algorithm. FNIT was initially conceived to study solar neutrons as a candidate instrument for the Inner Heliosphere Sentinel (IHS) spacecraft. However, the design of this detector was eventually adapted to locate Special Nuclear Material (SNM) sources for homeland security purposes, by detecting fission neutrons. In either case, the detection principle is based on multiple elastic neutron-proton scatterings in organic scintillator. By reconstructing event locations and measuring the recoil proton energies, the direction and energy spectrum of the primary neutron flux can be determined and neutron sources identified. This paper presents the most recent results arising from our efforts and outlines the performance of the FNIT detector.


Space Science Center, Physics

Publication Date


Journal Title

IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2007. NSS '07.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


©2007 IEEE.