Lithium-based low-cost large-area neutron detection for the portal and vehicle radiation detection market

Period of Performance: 08/19/2016 - 02/21/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Silverside Detectors Inc.
61 Mooney St. Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Silverside Detectors and Arktis Radiation Detectors have developed neutron detectors that are designed to achieve a revolutionary detection sensitivity for a given price in anticipation of large scale deployments of detection capability in and around urban environments to protect against nuclear terrorism. The detectors employs thin sheets of enriched lithium, which are read out in low-cost methods and housing developed by both companies. The work of this SBIR is to prepare new low-cost neutron detection technology based on lithium for use in the near-term market of portal and vehicle monitors. It will focus on the testing and development required to take the proof-of-concept detectors to a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-ready detector with verified long-life, leave-behind performance. Three types of technology development will be explored: wire-based readout, SiPM-based readout, and a combination of these methods of readout. The project will be a joint effort with Silverside, who works primarily in wire-based readout, and Arktis, who deals primarily in SiPM-based readouts. The major tasks are a joint trade study, standards testing, detector performance and lifetime testing, optimization, design improvements, manufacturing and QA/QC development, and detector product sheet development.