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Award Information
Proposal Number: 0512010
Proposal Title: Miniature, Efficient, Low-Vibration Cryocooler for Gamma Ray Detectors
Topic Number: H-SB05.1-003
Phase: Phase II
Topic Title: IMPROVED HIGH PURITY GERMANIUM COOLING MECHANISMS
Organization: Creare LLC
Address: 16 Great Hollow Road
Hanover, NH 03755-3116  
Abstract: Hand-held gamma ray spectrometers are a vital tool for detecting and identifying nuclear materials to counter the threat of radiological and nuclear terrorism. The High Purity Germanium crystals in these detectors must operate at cryogenic temperatures to achieve good energy resolution. We propose to develop an innovative, miniature cryogenic cooling system that will be ideal for hand-held detectors. High efficiency will enable long battery life, and low vibration will improve detector sensitivity. The system will be lightweight and inexpensive to produce. In Phase I, we have proven the feasibility of our approach by building and demonstrating critical components and producing a conceptual design for a prototype cryocooler. In Phase II, we will build and demonstrate a complete prototype cryocooler and integrate it with a hand-held gamma ray spectrometer. Tests of the cryocooler will demonstrate high cooling efficiency, and tests of the cooled spectrometer will demonstrate excellent detector performance. Homeland security applications include nuclear materials interdiction, safeguards inspection, and emergency response. The cooler can also be used to cool portable x-ray detectors and infrared sensors used in military targeting and guidance systems. The commercial nuclear industry can use the cooler/detector for in-situ waste assay measurements, nuclear reactor maintenance, and health physics.
Award/Contract Number: NBCHC060069
Period of Performance: 05/01/2006 - 02/28/2009
Award/Contract Value: $904,621.26
Award/Obligated Amount: $904,621.26