Towards Implementation of Large Scale Context-Sensitive Mobile Standoff Radiation Detection Systems
Daniel H. Chivers, Ph.D.
Berkeley Applied Analytics LLC
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Over the past decade, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) has sponsored technology development within the grand challenge topic area of Wide Area Monitoring and Search (WAMS). These research & development activities are intended to fill technological gaps within the operational mission space to confidently clear an area or venue of, or actively search for, the presence of radiological and nuclear threats. Standoff radiation detection, in this context, is the ability of a system to detect, identify, and locate a source of radiation at a distance consistent with a given set of concepts of operation.
As opposed to portal-based systems that remain static with tight controls of the placement and dwell time of the inspection item, mobile standoff systems are assumed to operate in highly variable conditions encountered within urban landscapes with little or no previous knowledge of the environment. With the additional requirement of providing both identification and localization at ranges up to 100 meters, scientists and engineers within the national laboratories and industry began a number of R&D efforts to propel the technology forward.
The trajectory of development since the attacks of 9/11 through today trace the early extensions of portal technologies to mobile platforms, to the development of advanced gamma-ray imaging based systems, and finally to the integration of multi-sensor, contextually aware systems. At all phases of this development, funding, and characterization efforts under DNDO Advanced Technological Demonstration programs have provided the required knowledge in performance trades that have propelled the technology towards implementation.
The Mobile Urban Radiation Search (MURS) ATD project, currently being developed and tested with end-users, is the culmination of these characterization efforts and integrates successful concepts to provide design specifications for a commercial product. This talk will review these efforts to develop advanced mobile detection systems starting from the early incarnations of mobile spectroscopic systems to today’s networked and contextually aware systems.
This work has been supported by the US Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, under contract HSHQDC-14-X-00197. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.