A portable gamma ray detection apparatus having a gamma ray detector encapsulated by a compact isolation structure having at least two volumetrically-nested enclosures where at least one is a thermal shield. The enclosures are suspension-mounted to each other to successively encapsulate the detector without structural penetrations through the thermal shields. A low power cooler is also provided capable of cooling the detector to cryogenic temperatures without consuming cryogens, due to the heat load reduction by the isolation structure and the reduction in the power requirements of the cooler. The apparatus also includes a lightweight portable power source for supplying power to the apparatus, including to the cooler and the processing means, and reducing the weight of the apparatus to enable handheld operation or toting on a user's person.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.