Advanced Radiation Monitoring Device (ARMD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD)
Mark J. Harrison
Argonne National Lab
Rapid detection, localization and identification of illicit radiological and/or nuclear material are critical functions necessary to counter potential threats to the security of the United States. The Advanced Radiation Monitoring Device (ARMD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) investigated the advantage of emerging scintillation detection materials which offer the potential to: 1) significantly improve sensitivity and energy resolution over more traditional materials; 2) decrease cost and/or; 3) provide new or novel performance characteristics such as dual gamma and neutron sensitivity.
The two materials investigated under this program were strontium iodide (SrI2:Eu), a high efficiency and high resolution scintillator for gamma radiation, and cesium lithium yttrium chloride (Cs2LiYCl6:Ce, abbreviated as CLYC), a scintillator for both neutron and gamma detection. These materials were developed through prior DNDO TAR Exploratory Research Program funding and showed significant promise for the DNDO mission. Crystals of these materials were supplied to the ARMD vendors by DNDO as Government Furnished Materials (GFM). This included 82 CLYC crystals and 51 SrI2:Eu crystals.
The overarching goal of the ARMD Technology Demonstration and Characterization (TD&C) was to understand the advantages these materials offered and where further technology development was needed to optimize their performance. To answer these questions, we assessed the system’s performance envelope with emphasis on detection sensitivity for radionuclides and radioactive objects of concern, their accuracy in identifying the radionuclides present and their false positive alarm rates, and the ability of the devices to indicate direction to a radiation source. TD&C activities were designed to characterize performance, maturity, and potential of the technology as a whole and to identify and characterize the roles and impacts of the various subcomponents including crystal packaging, photon-conversion technology, front-end electronics and signal processing, and isotope identification algorithms. Three vendors were selected for awards and two of those participated in all phases of the ATD. They were SCI Technology, Inc., a Sanmina-SCI Company (Sanmina), and CANBERRA Industries, Inc. (Canberra).
This work has been supported by the US Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, under competitively awarded contract/IAA HSHQDC-11-X-00176. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.