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Particle detection systems and methods

United States Patent

May 11, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Techniques, apparatus and systems for detecting particles such as muons and neutrons. In one implementation, a particle detection system employs a plurality of drift cells, which can be for example sealed gas-filled drift tubes, arranged on sides of a volume to be scanned to track incoming and outgoing charged particles, such as cosmic ray-produced muons. The drift cells can include a neutron sensitive medium to enable concurrent counting of neutrons. The system can selectively detect devices or materials, such as iron, lead, gold, uranium, plutonium, and/or tungsten, occupying the volume from multiple scattering of the charged particles passing through the volume and can concurrently detect any unshielded neutron sources occupying the volume from neutrons emitted therefrom. If necessary, the drift cells can be used to also detect gamma rays. The system can be employed to inspect occupied vehicles at border crossings for nuclear threat objects.
Morris; Christopher L. (Los Alamos, NM), Makela; Mark F. (Los Alamos, NM)
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (Los Alamos, NM)
11/ 977,314
October 24, 2007
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract Number DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.