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Portable, Fieldable, Non- Helium-3 Based Neutron Multiplicity Counter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA1-17-P-0007
Agency Tracking Number: T162-007-0060
Amount: $149,653.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA162-007
Solicitation Number: 2016.2
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-02-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-09-08
Small Business Information
12233 Robin Blvd
Houston, TX 77045
United States
DUNS: 806763793
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Jeffrey Lacy
 (713) 747-7324
Business Contact
 Dr. Jeffrey lacy
Phone: (713) 747-7324
Research Institution

Neutron coincidence counters are currently based on 3H technology. A worldwide 3He shortage plus the need for significant improvements in performance necessitate the development of a new class of neutron detectors. We propose the use of boron-coated straw (BCS) detectors, consisting of 4 mm diameter copper tubes lined with 10B-enriched boron carbide (10B4C). Previous studies have shown that BCS detectors can competitively replace 3He tubes in the commercially available High Level Neutron Coincidence Counter (HLNCC-II). BCS benefits include operation with low gas pressure (1 atm or less), optimal gas mixture for fast signals, operation at low voltage bias, low power consumption, simple electronic readout, easy fabrication, and low cost. BCS also shares many of the benefits of the 3He medium, including high detection efficiency, good gamma ray discrimination, and high reliability. We propose the development of a portable multiplicity counter for use by the military in the field, similar in physical dimensions to an existing 3He-based design, but replacing the 3He tubes with the BCS detection technology. Because of the wide commercial availability of enriched 10B BCS detectors are not encumbered in any manner by supply chain issues and with assembly line production development can be produced very economically.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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