Rugged High-Resolution Xenon Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-02ER83392
Agency Tracking Number: 70794S02-I
Amount: $99,885.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Constellation Technology Corporation
7887 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 100, Largo, FL, 33777
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Alexander Bolozdynya
 (727) 547-0600
Business Contact
 David Oltman
Title: 70794
Phone: (727) 547-0600
Research Institution
70794 Monitoring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons requires the detection of penetrating radiation emitted by nuclear materials (NM). Gaseous ionization chambers, based on collecting the charge produced by the ionizing radiation inside the detecting medium, are widely used to detect this radiation. To eliminate the dependence of pulse-height distribution at points of interaction, the volume of the ionization chamber is usually divided into two parts by a screening grid. However, signals read out from the gridded ionization chamber are extremely sensitive to micro-vibrations of the grid, leading to an additional low-frequency noise component. In addition, the grid makes the ionization chamber very fragile. This project will develop a rugged, high-resolution xenon cylindrical ionization chamber. Compared to conventional cylindrical ionization chambers with a screening grid, the proposed detector will be less sensitive to mechanical vibrations and acoustic noise, and will have a simpler design at a reduced production cost. At the same time, the new detector will retain a large size, large mass (several kilograms) of working medium, and excellent energy resolution (< 2% FWHM at 662 keV). Phase I will construct a prototype of the high-pressure, Double-Anode Cylindrical Ionization Chamber (DACIC) and demonstrate that a double-wire anode inside a cylindrical ionization chamber filled with high-pressure (>50 atm) Xe can provide the desired energy resolution. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The proposed detector could be used to measure gamma rays and neutrons in nuclear material monitoring systems, special systems targeted to detect and identify the presence of weapon grade plutonium, in situ gamma-spectroscopy of liquid radioactive waste, well-logging, and gamma-ray imaging.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government