A Microcalorimeter Alpha Spectrometer for Analysis of Nuclear Material

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Contract: 9.02.1-1.TT
Agency Tracking Number: 103-08
Amount: $89,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
25-A Bisbee Court, Santa Fe, NM, 87508
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robin Cantor
 (505) 424-6454
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
A key factor of international efforts to identify and suppress the supply of and demand for nuclear materials, and thereby to deter potential traffickers, is the ability to accurately identify contradicted material and ultimately to trace it back to its origin. Alpha particle spectroscopy is widely used in nuclear forensics to assay trace quantities of sensitive nuclear materials, but the limited spectral resolution of conventional alpha spectrometers limits their effectiveness to perform high-accuracy assays of such materials. STAR Cryoelectronics proposes to develop a high-resolution alpha spectrometer based on microcalorimeter detectors offering nearly a ten-fold improvement in energy resolution, thereby enabling the detection of minute isotopic compositional difference in sensitive nuclear materials. The innovative spectrometer requires only electrical power to operate, is completely automated, and will greatly increase the accuracy and throughput of current protocols for alpha spectroscopy.

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