Enhanced Spatial and Spectroscopic Resolution for First Responders: The DTRA Demonstration at Kirtland Air Force Base


J. Santo, A. Simpson, S. Lonchar


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) procured technologies and systems for rapid deployment at four military bases with the stated purpose of reducing the threat of smuggling of an unconventional nuclear or radiological weapon onto a military base. Their vision was rapid mobilization of "off-the-shelf" radiometric detection instrumentation to provide near term threat reduction results. BNFL Instruments, Inc. (BII), as a teaming partner with Westinghouse Safety Management Solutions, was selected for the Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) Test Bed in Albuquerque, NM. This paper presents the results of the demonstration and testing conducted at the KAFB with the RadScanĀ®: 800 4pi Gamma Imager. This instrument is a sodium iodide based gamma detection system that overlays a gamma count rate map, using isocontours, onto a video image of the survey area. This unique capability allows first responders, both Security and Health Physics personnel, to rapidly map and evaluate not only the location and intensity, but, through the integrated spectroscopic capability of the instrument, also the type of radioactive material present so that the overall threat can be better understood. This key information is available near real time, enabling better response management with respect to the tactical threat as well as addressing ALARA concerns. The instrument was outfitted for the KAFB Test Bed to provide threshold alarm capability. The alarm threshold was designed to be set for target radioactive materials or for total count rate. The RadScanĀ® 800 is a fast emerging radiometric detection technology that has been proven in the demonstration scenarios as a potentially invaluable tool in the War on Terror.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Late Submissions Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

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