The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Shielded Nuclear Alarm Resolution (SNAR) Program Overview
Namdoo Moon, Ph.D
Program Manager, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Transformational & Applied Research
The Transformational and Applied Research (TAR) Directorate is pursuing new signatures and new technologies to address the challenge of detecting and identifying Special Nuclear Material (SNM) in complex cargos. To this end, DNDO/TAR invested in exploring signatures that are unique to active interrogation for these applications. These signatures, originally demonstrated through the exploratory research program, then percolated up to the Advanced Technology Demonstration program, which enabled DNDO to explore their applicability to operationally viable systems. The Shielded Nuclear Alarm Resolution (SNAR) program was constructed to explore these signatures and technologies to enable the detection of shielded SNM and definitively clear non-threat objects.
This presentation will include an overview of SNAR program, the goals of the program, a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each active interrogation system, their concept of operations (CONOPS), and the potential for future systems. Three performance test units (PTUs) were evaluated through the SNAR program: Multi-Modal Automated Resolution, Location, & Identification of Nuclear Material (MARLIN); Photo-fission Based Alarm Resolution (PBAR); and Differential die-way Analysis Photon-Neutron Experiment (DAPHNE). These systems utilized either continuous wave or pulsed sources, and prompt neutrons from photo-fission, delayed neutrons, delayed gamma, die-away, cargo classification techniques, and 3-D cargo reconstruction techniques to address the detection challenges. These systems were characterized through a robust test run by TAR, which explored a variety of test objects and cargos selected to elicit a comprehensive understanding of the physics and capabilities of these systems.
This presentation will also provide a brief overview of component technologies and their future development.