Inexpensive, disposable radiation detectors

Period of Performance: 05/04/2009 - 11/03/2009

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanoptics, Inc.
3014 NE 21st Way
Gainesville, FL 32609
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This proposal concerns the detection of Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) by using large networks of small, inexpensive, and robust gamma detectors. These detectors will be deployed where consistent surveillance would be difficult by any other means, like remote mountain trails. The proposal describes a novel gamma detector that is extremely robust and inexpensive. The new scintillation material is solid thermoplastic. It is dense, has a high atomic number, and most importantly, is robust and non-hygroscopic. The scintillation light is detected by a solid-state avalanche photodiode with very low power consumption. Electronic processing of the pulse height data is performed. The data processing provides sensitive identification of a lightly shielded radioactive source of SNM in the detector s environment. When a radioactive source has been detected, the detector will wirelessly communicate the possible presence of SNM. The feasibility of the new extremely robust gamma detection capability will be demonstrated in this Phase 1 project.