SBIR Phase I: Efficient, High-Resolution Fast-Neutron Detector

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539679
Agency Tracking Number: 0539679
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
981-B Industrial Road, San Carlos, CA, 94070
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jay Cremer
 (650) 598-9800
Business Contact
 Charles Gary
Title: Mr
Phone: (650) 598-9800
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a fast-neutron detector capable of higher resolution and efficiency than previous detectors. Because fast neutrons are highly penetrating, they have the possibility of imaging and interrogating large, high-density objects. Unfortunately, this ability also requires a thick highly-efficient scintillator material resulting in low resolution detection. The proposed research will address this problem by using light-channeling micro-capillaries with liquid scintillants that are loaded with neutron-stopping atoms. In addition, a state of the art image-intensified CCD camera capable of creating short time-interval images will be used, in which noise can be identified and filtered out. The efficiency and resolution of the detector system will be analyzed by an advanced radiographic model of imaging which treats the detector components using a systems theory approach. The use of fast neutrons for radiography and non-destructive evaluation opens a whole new range of material combinations and thicknesses that can be imaged. This proposal aims to greatly improve nondestructive evaluation of thick, high-density objects by developing a fast neutron detector capable of high resolution imaging without sacrificing detector efficiency. The detector will be used with a portable high-brightness fast neutron source being developed under another program to form a fast-neutron radiographic system. The proposed system of detector and source will serve the nondestructive testing interests of commercial and military aircraft, public utilities and petrochemical organizations.

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

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