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. Our proposed technology will be able to provide information required for the attribution of radiological material through remote isotopic analysis using laser filaments and an interferometric spectrometer. Information on various impurities in the samples will provide clues on where the materials were produced or mined. Our technology will furthermore provide a standoff-capable technology that can easily be remotely operated. Demonstrated the utility of laser filaments for standoff distance detection. A spatial heterodyne spectrometer has also been designed. To construct a compact, portable and integrated radiological material sensor. This system will consist of an filamenting laser system and a spatial heterodyne spectrometer. The system capabilities will be tested at a DOE National Lab to measure isotopic shifts of radiological materials. 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 capability to generate broad spectrum at range, this sensor can also be used for weather monitoring, LIDAR and remote sensing.
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