High-Speed Neutron and Gamma Flux Sensor for Monitoring Surface Nuclear Reactors

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,999.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX11CA80C
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
094884
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
X7.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
VA, Suite 400, Roanoke, VA, 24016-4692
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
627132913
Principal Investigator:
Matthew Davis
Principal Investigator
(540) 558-1696
davism@lunainc.com
Business Contact:
Shirley Evans
Business Official
(540) 540-8400
evanss@lunainnovations.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
NASA needs compact nuclear reactors to power future bases on the moon and/or Mars. These reactors require robust automatic control systems using low mass, rapid response, in-core reactor power monitoring sensors and radiation tolerant sensor interrogation systems that do not yet exist. Luna proposes to develop a new type of fiber optic miniature neutron flux and gamma flux sensor, which will have significantly faster response than recently developed fiber optic radiation sensors. The new sensors will maintain the advantages of current fiber optic reactor sensor technology, including small size for in-core sensor distributions, high temperature performance (above 600<SUP>o</SUP>C), and immunity to electrical noise in the presence of ionizing radiation. During Phase II Luna will optimize the sensor design and the interrogation system for high temperature in-core monitoring of both gamma flux and neutron flux with internal thermal compensation and in-situ thermal calibration. At the end of Phase II, Luna will deliver a lightweight sensor interrogation system, utilizing experimentally verified radiation hardened components wherever possible, and including an analog output signal for interfacing with standard reactor control electronics.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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