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TRACKING OF MOVING RADIOACTIVE SOURCES (IN-05-128, IN-09-003 and IN-09-007)

Innovative System for Detecting Unsecured Nuclear Materials

Argonne National Laboratory

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Example of video monitoring and data capture using Argonne’s system.
Example of video monitoring and data capture using Argonne’s system.

Technology Marketing Summary

Devices for radioactive source detection exist but their capabilities and their precision is limited. There are currently no systems which integrate signals from multiple sensors or which provide directional information or discrete source location information. In addition, current systems allow a target to know that they are being tracked.

Present-day devices tend to have a limited range of geometrical configurations in which they can be deployed. Generally, they must be deployed in a single fixed geometric arrangement of detectors and thus are limited to applications where the flow of traffic, either people or vehicles, can be directed to meet the spatial requirements imposed by the detection device. This generally involves defining a surveillance pathway and having to alter the free flow of traffic so it is directed into the pathway. There is a need for a system that can cover a free-form area without having to specifically control the flow of traffic.

Argonne’s technology relates to systems and methods for 1) detecting the introduction of a source into the monitored area, 2) tracking its position in the monitored area, 3) identifying the type of radioisotope and the source strength, and 4) portability – it is easily moved to new locations. The technology provides these capabilities while minimizing the probability of false positives and the probability of a missed positive even in environments where the signal-to-noise ratio may be lower than is achievable by current systems.

Description

Argonne has created an innovative system for detecting unsecured nuclear materials: a flexible and low-profile system for unobtrusive detection and tracking of radioactive sources in transit suited for deployment at traffic choke points such as rest stops, toll collection plazas, truck stops, bridges and free-form areas. The system is significantly better than other systems in free form traffic flow areas like crowd monitoring, personnel movement in subway entry/exits or city streets, and traffic intersections.

 Argonne’s system includes portable gamma radiation detectors, networking for linking these detectors, signal processing algorithms, and a central processing and control unit.

 Radioactive source detection is performed using a sequential analysis test; a video camera for capturing radiation information and video data; a data collection and storage system linked to a network of radiation detectors; a decision-making architecture for processing the radiation information; and a graphical user interface for real-time display of the processed radiation information and the video data.

Benefits
  • Detect, locate and track radioactive source in real time
  • Does not need source to be physically near the detector
  • Portable; easy to use and deploy
  • Unobtrusive
Applications and Industries
  • Passengers at subway stations, stadium athletic events, and airports Highway rest stops or toll collection plazas
  • Truck stops
  • City Halls, public streets, hospitals, museums, venue monitoring, crowd monitoring and traffic choke points
  • Free-form areas
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Application 20110246137
Application
20110246137
SOURCE LOCALIZATION USING MULTIPLE UNITS OF A TIGHT-PITCHED DETECTOR ARRAY
A system and method for determining a probability of the location of an illicit radiation source within an environment based on directional detectors. An embodiment includes a plurality of directional radiation detectors distributed about the environment and integrated with a processing unit adapted to determine the probability of the source location based on the radiation count data received from the plurality of detectors. The processing unit is further adapted to output information indicative of the location of the radiation source within the environment.
09/14/2010
Filed
Patent 7,465,924
Patent
7,465,924
Tracking of moving radioactive sources
A system for detecting unsecured nuclear materials. Whereas current portal monitors rely in part on physical prominence to deter materials from entering the country, their application at intra-modal transport points may actually serve to divert the movement of nuclear materials rather than aid in interception. A flexible and low-profile system has been developed for unobtrusive detection and tracking of radioactive sources in transit suited for deployment at traffic choke points such as rest stops, toll collection plazas, truck stops, and bridges. The system includes gamma radiation detectors, networking for linking these detectors, signal processing algorithms, and a central processing and control unit.
Argonne National Laboratory 12/16/2008
Issued
Application 20110063447
Application
20110063447
VIDEO-IMAGING SYSTEM FOR RADIATION THREAT TRACKING IN REAL-TIME
A system for overlaying location information of a radiation source onto a current image of an area being monitored. The system is capable of integrating data from various detectors and cameras has been developed to aid in tracking a radiation source. Location information, derived from various detectors, is integrated with near real-time videos of an area being monitored to show clearly where a radiation source is likely located within the area being monitored.
09/14/2010
Filed
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IN-05-128, IN-09-003 and IN-09-007PrototypeAvailable01/30/201301/30/2013

Contact ANL About This Technology

To: Elizabeth Jordan<partners@anl.gov>