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Miniature, Efficient, Low-Vibration Cryocooler for Gamma Ray Detectors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: NBCHC060069
Agency Tracking Number: 0511070
Amount: $904,621.26
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H-SB05.1-003
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-04-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-02-28
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, 16 Great Hollow Road, Hanover, NH, 03755-0071
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Izenson
 Principal Engineer
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 Sheryl Belanger
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Research Institution

Hand-held gamma ray spectrometers are a vital tool for detecting and identifying nuclear materials to counter the threat of radiological and nuclear terrorism. The HPGe crystals in these detectors must operate at cryogenic temperatures to achieve good energy resolution. We propose to develop an innovative, miniature cryogenic cooling system that will be ideal for hand-held detectors. High efficiency will enable long battery life, and low vibration will improve the detector sensitivity. In addition, the system will be lightweight and inexpensive to produce. In Phase I, we will prove the feasibility of our approach by building and demonstrating critical components and producing a conceptual design for a prototype cryocooler. In Phase II, we will build and demonstrate a complete prototype system. Homeland security applications include nuclear materials interdiction, safeguards inspection, and emergency response. The cooler can also be used to cool portable x-ray detectors and infrared sensors used in military targeting and guidance systems. The commercial nuclear industry can use the cooler/detector for in-situ waste assay measurements, nuclear reactor maintenance, and health physics.

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

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