Awards Registry

Portable, High Resolution, Combined Neutron/X-ray Imaging System
Profile last edited on: 12/18/2020

Program
SBIR
Agency
DOE
Total Award Amount
$1,299,934
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Vivek V Nagarkar
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc (AKA:RMD Inc)

44 Hunt Street Suite 2
Watertown, MA 02472
   (617) 668-6801
   info@rmdinc.com
   www.rmdinc.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   05
County:   Middlesex

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$199,999
NNSA plays a vital role in the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent, respond, and counter to a terrorist or other adversary with a nuclear or radiological device. NNSA does this by providing expertise and practical tools used to counter nuclear threats. To support its functions and foundational capabilities across nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and emergency response mission areas, NNSA needs advanced sensors and instrumentation that may be used to rapidly identify threats and get the information needed to counter them. The proposed research directly addresses the DOE/NNSA’s mission needs with the development of a portable, high spatial resolution, combined neutron/ X-ray radiography detector. The envisioned detector would be capable of high sensitivity imaging of fast neutrons, thermal neutrons, and high energy X-rays. The detector could also be operated at high framing rates, and our proprietary algorithms would permit data analysis for materials identification purposes. The detector will employ a high performance, structured, solid-state sensor that will simultaneously provide high detection efficiency for various radiation types over a wide range of energies while maintaining the desired high spatial resolution. The goal of the proposed Phase I is to demonstrate our design feasibility. During Phase I, we will conduct (1) sensor design and simulations, (2) develop protocols for large area sensor manufacturing, and fabricate sensors for Phase I studies, (3) assemble a prototype detector and characterize its performance in relevant radiation environment/s, and (4) demonstrate feasibility through imaging and data analysis to validate materials identification capability. We will work closely with the DOE program officials for translating this transformative technology into their application space, and into commercial space. A large area detector capable of high sensitivity, high spatial resolution for neutrons and X-rays is needed for numerous applications in homeland security, nondestructive testing, military hardware testing, and numerous applications in medical fields. From a pure scientific point of view, such a detector will be well suited for determining atomic positions and displacement parameters of light elements (such as hydrogen), next to heavy metals in advanced materials or new drugs, and will be an ideal solution for studying magnetic structures, phase transitions, disorder, and local structure phenomena using crystal diffractometry, Laue diffraction, and proteing crystallography instruments. Research in each of these areas will directly benefit the public by accelerating the development of new drugs, novel materials, and systems, all of which have a direct impact on health care, quality of life, addressing the nation’s future energy needs, and it will expand our technology base.

Phase II

Phase II year
2021 (last award dollars: 2021)
Phase II Amount
$1,099,935
NNSA plays a vital role in the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent, respond to, and counter terrorists or other adversaries with a nuclear or radiological device. High resolution neutron/Xray radiography imagers are critical to effectively accomplish this goal. Xray sources needed for the task are readily available and fast neutron sources with high flux that meet the SWaP requirements are being developed. Unfortunately, detectors that are simultaneously sensitive to fast neutrons and high energy Xrays and can generate high resolution images in short time duration, do not exist. We are addressing this specific need. The proposed research directly addresses the DOE/NNSA’s mission needs with the development of a portable, high spatial resolution, combined neutron/ Xray radiography detector. The envisioned detector would be capable of high sensitivity, high resolution, imaging of fast neutrons and high energy Xrays. The detector will employ a newly discovered, high performance, structured, solidstate sensor coupled to a large area readout to provide images in digital format. The Phase I research demonstrated feasibility of our approach through 1 sensor design and simulations, 2 fabrication of sensors and characterization studies, 3 assembling prototype detector and performing evaluations using fast neutrons and high energy Xrays, and 4 demonstrating high resolution imaging using MeV energy range neutrons and Xrays. We worked closely with the DOE program officials through periodic reviews for planning translation of this transformative technology into their application space. The goal of the Phase II is to develop a fully functional detector and conduct testing under realistic field conditions with the help from our ORNL collaborators. Specifically, we will develop protocols to manufacture large area sensors with the desired properties. This will be an iterative process involving simulations, fabrication, and characterizations. After preliminary tests at RMD, the sensors and the detector will be tested at ORNL using DD/DT generators and 7 MeV Xrays. A large area detector capable of high sensitivity, high spatial resolution for neutrons and X rays is needed for numerous applications in homeland security, nondestructive testing, and military hardware testing and will be an ideal solution for studying magnetic structures, phase transitions, disorder, and local structure phenomena in advanced materials. Research in each of these areas will directly benefit the public by accelerating the development of new drugs, novel materials, and systems, all of which have a direct impact on health care, quality of life, addressing the nation’s future energy needs, and it will expand our technology base.