We report on recent progress in the development of the Fast Neutron Imaging Telescope (FNIT), a detector with both imaging and energy measurement capabilities, sensitive to neutrons in the 2-20 MeV range. FNIT was initially conceived to study solar neutrons as a candidate design for the Solar Sentinels program under formulation at NASA. This instrument is now being configured to locate fission neutron sources for homeland security purposes. By accurately identifying the position of the neutron source with imaging techniques and reconstructing the energy spectrum of fission neutrons, FNIT can locate problematic amounts of Special Nuclear Material (SNM), including heavily shielded and masked samples. The detection principle is based on multiple elastic neutron-proton (n-p) scatterings in organic scintillators. By reconstructing the n-p event locations and sequence and measuring the recoil proton energies, the direction and energy spectrum of the primary neutron flux can be determined and neutron point sources identified. The performance of FNIT is being evaluated through a series of Monte Carlo simulations and lab tests of detector prototypes. The Science Model One (SM1) of this instrument was recently assembled and is presently undergoing performance testing.


Space Science Center, Physics

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SPIE Proceedings



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Conference Proceeding


© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering.