Portable High-Intensity X-Ray Source Based on a 10 MeV Superconducting Electron Linac

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: HSHQDC-14-C-00029
Agency Tracking Number: HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-007-0001-I
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2014
Solicitation Year: 2014
Solicitation Topic Code: H-SB014.1-007
Solicitation Number: HSHQDC-14-R-00005
Small Business Information
Niowave, Inc.
1012 N. Walnut St., Lansing, MI, 48906-5061
DUNS: 621290001
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Terry Grimm
 President & Senior Scientist
 (517) 999-3475
 grimm@niowaveinc.com
Business Contact
 Jerry Hollister
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (517) 230-7417
Email: hollister@niowaveinc.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
In the post 9/11 security environment, rapid cargo inspection has become a high priority. Cargo scanning using either radiographic imaging or active interrogation for Special Nuclear Material (SNM) requires high energy and high intensity x-rays. High intensity x-ray sources are especially important for active interrogation techniques such as photo-fission, delayed neutron & gamma measurements, pulse-shaped discrimination and Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF). The most common source of such x-rays is an electron accelerator. Existing pulsed copper accelerators can deliver high energy electrons (3-10 MeV), but have low duty cycle beams and correspondingly low average current. These low current beams limit the quality of x-ray images and SNM detection sensitivity. Furthermore, inspection systems based on copper accelerators typically weigh several tons, have a large footprint, and consume hundreds of kilowatts of electric power. As a result, these machines require a large, fixed site to operate. Niowave, Inc. has developed an alternative--a compact, portable, high-efficiency 10 MeV superconducting electron linac with 10 kW average beam power. This high-intensity source, evolved from linacs developed by Niowave for x-ray sterilization and free electron lasers, produces an electron beam with a 100% duty cycle. When equipped with a thin liquid metal bremsstrahlung converter, our superconducting linac generates a continuous, high-energy, high-intensity x-ray beam. Such a beam is ideal for x-ray radiography, or for initiating photonuclear reactions required for active interrogation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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