null false
X

Mail

Have you lost your password?

if you have forgotten your password click HERE

If you have not received the activation mail click here

Home / News / 730 Digitizers - Readout for Concealed Nuclear Materials Detection Application

730 Digitizers - Readout for Concealed Nuclear Materials Detection Application

2/5/2016 >> Uncovering Special Nuclear Materials by Low-energy Nuclear Reaction Imaging
The signals produced by photon and neutron detectors were digitized using 14-bit, 500-MHz, 8-channel desktop digitizers (CAEN DT5730). In delayed neutron measurements, a custom data acquisition suite was used, capable of digitizing 600-ns long waveforms at rates of up to 14 kHz. Full digital forms were stored and later used in the analysis..

In gamma ray transmission and imaging studies, the digitizer on-board field-programmable gate array (FPGA) was used to process and analyze the digitized waveforms in real time. The built-in firmware for pulse shape discrimination (PSD) and FPGAs were used to read out processed data in the form of energy per pulse. This method minimizes the data transfer rate between the digitizer and control software, which allows for the use of many detectors in parallel with few computational resources..

logo file download
photos of researchers

Researchers have demonstrated proof of concept for a novel low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of "special nuclear materials"-weapons-grade uranium and plutonium-in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers.

The technique can simultaneously measure the suspected material's density and atomic number using mono-energetic gamma ray imaging, while confirming the presence of special nuclear materials by observing their unique delayed neutron emission signature. The mono-energetic nature of the novel radiation source could result in a lower radiation dose as compared to conventionally employed methods. As a result, the technique could increase the detection performance while avoiding harm to electronics and other cargo that may be sensitive to radiation.

If the technique can be scaled up and proven under real inspection conditions, it could significantly improve the ability to prevent the smuggling of dangerous nuclear materials and their potential diversion to terrorist groups.
Supported the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the research was reported April 18, 2016 in the Nature journal Scientific Reports. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and the Pennsylvania State University conducted this research, which is believed to be the first successful effort to identify and image uranium using this approach.

"Once heavy shielding is placed around weapons-grade uranium or plutonium, detecting them passively using radiation detectors surrounding a 40-foot cargo container is very difficult," said Anna Erickson, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. "One way to deal with this challenge is to induce the emission of an intense, penetrating radiation signal in the material, which requires an external source of radiation." The technique begins with an ion accelerator producing deuterons, heavy isotopes of hydrogen. The deuterons impinge on a target composed of boron, which produces both neutrons and high-energy photons. The resulting particles are focused into a fan shaped beam that could be used to scan the cargo container. The transmission of high-energy photons can be used to image materials inside the cargo container, while both the photons and neutrons excite the special nuclear material-which then emits gamma rays and neutrons that can be detected outside the container. Transmission imaging detectors located in the line of sight of the interrogating fan beam of photons create the image of the cargo.
"The gamma rays of different energies interact with the material in very different ways, and how the signals are attenuated will be a very good indicator of what the atomic number of the hidden material is, and its potential density," Erickson explained. "We can observe the characteristics of transmission of these particles to understand what we are looking at."
When the neutrons interact with fissile materials, they initiate a fission reaction, generating both prompt and delayed neutrons that can be detected despite the shielding. The neutrons do not prompt a time-delayed reaction with non-fissionable materials such as lead, providing an indicator that materials of potential use for development of nuclear weapons are inside the shielding.
"If you have something benign, but heavy-like tungsten, for instance-versus something heavy and shielded like uranium, we can tell from the signatures of the neutrons," Erickson said. "We can see the signature of special nuclear materials very clearly in the form of delayed neutrons. This happens only if there are special nuclear materials present." Earlier efforts at active detection of radioactive materials used X-rays to image the cargo containers, but that technique had difficulty with the heavy shielding and could harm the cargo if the radiation dose was high, Erickson said. Because it uses discrete energies of the photons and neutrons, the new technique minimizes the amount of energy entering the container.
Researchers at Georgia Tech-led by Erickson-and at University of Michigan and Penn State University-led by Igor Jovanovic, professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences - demonstrated that the technique works in a laboratory setting by detecting uranium plates and rods.
In testing conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the Bates Linear Accelerator Center, the researchers used a fan-like pattern of particles created by an ion accelerator and emitted at 4.4 and 15.1 MeV. The particles passed through a shielded radioactive material, and were measured on the other side with Cherenkov quartz detectors connected to photomultiplier tubes.
"This provided proof that the physics works, and that we can use these particles to actually distinguish among various materials, including special nuclear materials," Jovanovic said. The technique has not yet been tested under the real-world conditions of a steel cargo container, but such demonstration may take place in the near future.

Provided by: Georgia Institute of Technology

More information: Paul Rose, Anna Erickson, Michael Mayer, Jason Nattress and Igor Jovanovic, "Uncovering Special Nuclear Materials by Low-energy Nuclear Reaction Imaging," (Scientific Reports, 2016). http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep24388

Photo description: Georgia Tech Graduate Student Paul Rose and Assistant Professor Anna Erickson are shown with desktop digitizer DT5730 and Cherenkov quartz detectors that would be used to image shielded radioactive materials inside cargo containers. (Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech)


Other News

Date Description
15/12/2016 CAEN miniaturized A7501 modules provides HV for CEA Micromegas-based Telescope used for muon tomography of the pyramid of Giza
14/10/2016 CAEN is proud to announce its presence at 2016 IEEE NSS/MIC
2/5/2016 Uncovering Special Nuclear Materials by Low-energy Nuclear Reaction Imaging
21/3/2016 CAEN is pleased to announce the release of the new 2016/2017 Product Catalog
29/6/2015 WaveCatcher software first official release comes for 743 family.
22/6/2015 CAEN proudly announces the brand new CAENScope tool official release.
16/4/2015 New Application Note - Time Measurements with CAEN Waveform Digitizers
2/4/2015 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - 02.04.2015 issued
19/2/2015 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - 19.02.2015 issued
3/9/2014 New Application Note - Pulse Shape Discrimination with different CAEN digitizers running DPP-PSD firmware
26/6/2014 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - 26.06.2014 issued
7/5/2014 CAEN is proud to announce the official release of its new MC2 Analyzer software.
28/1/2014 New Application Note - Energy Resolution and Linearity of the MCA CAEN DT5780
15/1/2014 Accordo INFN - CAEN S.p.A: una nuova sinergia per la ricerca tecnologica e lo sviluppo industriale
20/12/2013 European Project to Secure Tap Water Against Radioactive Contamination Kicks Off
9/12/2013 Digital Detector Emulator series today available with a special discount
6/12/2013 730 Digitizer family today available with a special discount
10/5/2013 New release of DPP-CI (Digital Pulse Processing for Charge Integration) solution
28/3/2013 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - 28.03.2013 issued
18/5/2012 First release of DPP-PSD (Digital Pulse Processing for the Pulse Shape Discrimination) solution
15/3/2012 Best Young Speaker Award - Bormio 22 - 25 February 2012
3/2/2012 European Project for Nuclear Security Kicks Off
10/1/2012 SP5600B Kit has been nominated for the Best in Test 2012 Award in the category Data Acquisition.
23/12/2011 TRIUMF & CAEN DPP Workshops Conclusions
22/12/2011 CAEN awarded contract for the design and production of PMTs HV Power Supply System for NA62 LAV, MUV and CEDAR detectors.
21/11/2011 CAEN Protection Plan: 2 Year Extended Warranty.
7/11/2011 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - 07.11.2011 issued
27/10/2011 DT5780 Compact X-ray and Gamma-ray Spectrometer for Silicon, Germanium and Scintillator Detectors
25/10/2011 CAEN unveils the A2932 48 Channel 3 kV Common Floating Return Distribution Board with Current Monitor
19/10/2011 CAEN unveils the New Multi-channel HV and LV Mainframe system
14/10/2011 CAEN awarded contract for design and production of NA62 Liquid Krypton Calorimeter Readout Modules
3/10/2011 Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), has officially opened for astronomers.
5/8/2011 Diamond-based solutions in Physics and Power Electronics Workshop
27/7/2011 CANBERRA & CAEN DPP Workshops Conclusions
26/7/2011 CAEN, in collaboration with University of Padova, has developed an integrated mobile system called SMANDRA for port security.
1/6/2011 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - May 2011 issued
4/5/2011 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - April 2011 issued
18/4/2011 CAEN in Partnership with H@H - The Project comes to clinical validation.
4/4/2011 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - March 2011 issued
22/3/2011 PSI & CAEN DPP Workshop Conclusion
21/3/2011 CAEN held a Maintenance Training at ALMA Operations Support Facility
21/2/2011 CAEN Electronic Instrumentation Newsletter - February 2011 issued
28/1/2011 PSI & CAEN Workshop
18/1/2011 VME and DPP workshops in India scheduled for February
23/12/2010 Final Delivery of Low Voltage Power Supply for ALMA
25/10/2010 GSI and CAEN DPP Workshop Conclusions
30/6/2010 CERN Electronics Pool and CAEN DPP Workshop Conclusions
27/1/2010 CAEN to hold VME training course at Hanyang University, Seoul (Korea)