We present the design and development of a dual-species, neutron/γ-ray imaging spectrometer for the identification and location of radioactive and special nuclear materials (SNM). Real-time detection and identification is important for locating fissile materials. These materials, specifically uranium and plutonium, emit neutrons and γ rays via spontaneous or induced fission. Co-located neutron and γ-ray emissions are a sure sign of fissile material, requiring very few spatially correlated events for a significant detection. Our instrument design detects neutrons and γ rays from all sources in its field of view, constructs images of the emission pattern, and reports the spectra for both species. The detection principle is based upon multiple elastic neutron-proton scatters in organic scintillator for neutrons, and Compton scattering in organic scintillator followed by photoelectric absorption in inorganic scintillator for γ rays. The instrument is optimized for neutron imaging and spectroscopy in the 1-20 MeV range. We recorded images and spectra of a Cf-252 source from 0.5 - 10 MeV, and have done similarly for several γ-ray sources. We report the results of laboratory testing of this expanded instrument and compare them to detailed Monte Carlo simulations using Geant4.


Space Science Center, Physics

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SPIE Proceedings



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Conference Proceeding


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