Experimental Verification and Military Employment of Centrifugally Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detectors for Neutron Detection of Trace Radiation Sources
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Centrifugally tensioned metastable fluid detectors (CTMFDs) promise a compact, easy-to-use, highly sensitive, robust, discriminatory, mobile sensor platform that could detect the presence of special nuclear materials in real time. CTMFDs could help in the detection of fast neutrons that are telltale signs of nuclear material, while remaining blind to gamma radiation that could otherwise interfere with the desired measurement. CTMFDs have a simple, easy-to-use equipment string that costs on the order of hundreds of dollars compared with traditional detec- tors with similar capabilities, which cost on the order of thousands of dollars. This study involved laboratory testing to compare the CTMFD's capability for neutron detection against that of other detection systems with similar capabilities. The CTMFD was found to have comparable intrinsic neutron detection efficiency with systems that are much more costly and less likely to function in austere military environments. Employment of the proper CTMFD setup could involve use at military checkpoints or aid in determining origins of a nuclear weapon in a post-detonation forensics analysis scenario, providing a great improvement over current approaches.
This paper was presented at the 33rd Annual HEART Technical Interchange Meeting Monterey, CA, April 5-8, 2016.
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