We present the test results of a neutron/gamma-ray imaging spectrometer for the identification and location of radioactive and special nuclear materials. Radioactive materials that could be fashioned into a radiation dispersal device typically emit gamma rays, while fissile materials such as uranium and plutonium emit both neutrons and gamma rays via spontaneous or induced fission. The simultaneous detection of neutrons and gamma rays is a clear indication of the presence of fissile material. The instrument works as a double-scatter telescope, requiring a neutron or gamma ray to undergo an interaction in two detectors to be considered a valid event. While this requirement reduces the detector efficiency, it yields information about the direction and energy of the incident particle, which is then used to reconstruct an image of the emitting source. Because of this imaging capability background events can be rejected, decreasing the number of events required for high confidence detection and thereby greatly improving its sensitivity. The instrument is optimized for the detection of neutrons with energies from 1-20 MeV and gamma rays from 0.4 to 10 MeV. Images and energy spectra for neutron and gamma rays are reported for several sources including depleted uranium and plutonium. In addition, the effect of neutron source shielding is investigated.
Space Science Center, Physics
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Amanda C. Madden ; Peter F. Bloser ; Dominique Fourguette ; Liane Larocque ; Jason S. Legere ; Matt Lewis ; Mark L. McConnell ; Marissa Rousseau ; James M. Ryan; An imaging neutron/gamma-ray spectrometer . Proc. SPIE 8710, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XIV, 87101L (May 29, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2018075.
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