Development of Filament-Based Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for the Standoff Detection of Radiological Materials
There is a growing need for sensors to detect radiological materials either for nuclear inspection or in the event of a nuclear attack. Thus, these sensors should have the capability of rapidly measuring key isotopic contents and ratios of actinides as well as other elemental composition of various impurities in condensed samples up to 250 meters with a spatial resolution of 1 mm. To ensure the safety of the operations personnel, the sensors should provide real-time and on-site standoff detection capability. To meet the long-range propagation and high spatial resolution requirements, PM&AM Research proposes the use of intense ultrashort laser pulses and a high resolution spectrometer coupled to a highly sensitive detector, as part of a modular laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) detection scheme. Phase I will concentrate on the experimental study of long range propagation characteristics of these ultrashort laser pulses, review and establish the sensitivity and resolution limits for currently available spectrometers. The design of the prototype sensor will be presented along with an economic analysis at the end of Phase I. Phase II efforts will be aimed at the construction of the prototype proposed in Phase I. PM&AM Research will also conduct field tests of the prototype to meet various performance requirements and specifications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: This new compact and integrated LIBS detection setup will be able to detect a wide range of materials, such as explosives, organic, radiological and fissile materials at standoff distances. Due to its long-range capability, this sensor can also be used for weather monitoring, LIDAR and remote sensing.
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Physics, Materials, And Applied Mathematics Resear
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