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Ship Board Water Intake Radiation Sensor


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea, Nuclear, Sensors

OBJECTIVE: DTRA seeks to investigate and develop a radiation detector that can be placed on a naval vessel's water intake pipe in order to frequently measure for radiation in the water through which the vessel is sailing.

DESCRIPTION: In the aftermath of the Fukushima event it was learned that radioactive isotopes were in the water off the coast of the reactor site. Ships struggled to determine if the water they were sailing through had radioactive isotopes. This is important since large ships use water from the body of water they are sailing through on the ship for numerous uses. Having a detector on the water intake pipe taking regular measurements would inform the ship's crew of rising radiation levels in the water and thus make informed decisions on the next course of action to take. This is valuable to all large naval vessels that are concerned.The detector system should be readily repairable, will make measurements on the exterior surface of the pipe with no penetrations into the pipe, should be able to measure through varying thicknesses of pipe 1/4" up to 1", should use a less expensive crystal material for the detector, able to measure gamma rays in the range of 60 KeV to 3 MeV, able to run continuously for 1 year with minimal maintenance, and able to communicate data to a software application that records and reports the data via a cable or wireless communication.

PHASE I: Identify the materials, methods, and processes to meet the design objectives.By the end of phase one, materials and techniques should have been demonstrated to have the potential for fulfilling a fully integrated prototype.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype and demonstrate its ability to meet the requirements provided in the description.This phase will utilize the materials and techniques developed in Phase I of this research.Develop manufacturing and commercialization plans for implementing the research into production and then into the marketplace.

PHASE III: This technology could be used on any water intake pipe or effluent pipe where detection of radiation is a concern, such as on ships in both fresh or salt water, water treatment facilities, nuclear power plant effluent systems, and other industrial facilities that process water with radioactive isotopes.

KEYWORDS: Ship, water, radiation, sea vessel, radiation detector, radiation detection, radioactive


[1] G. Knoll, Radiation Detection and Measurement. John Wiley & Sons (2010)

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