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Abstracts of HSHQDC-15-R-00017 Phase II Awards
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H-SB015.1-008

Company

AOSense, Inc.
929 E Arques Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94085-4521

Proposal Information HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-008-0004-II - Shielded SNM Detection with Gravity Gradiometry
Topic Information H-SB015.1-008 - Mass/Shielding Anomaly Passive Detector Module
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-16-C-00031
Abstract

AOSense proposes to develop a cold-atom gravity gradiometer for nonintrusive, passive detection of shielded special nuclear material (SNM) within a human occupied vehicle. Both SNM and SNM shielding consist of high-Z materials that are substantially denser than background. Theoretical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of gravity tomography for identification of shielded SNM. The proposed gravity detection approach is fully passive and safe to vehicle occupants. Furthermore, gravity detection of SNM is complementary to existing radiation detection methods. The fidelity of gravity detection improves with thicker SNM shielding. The proposed highly-sensitive, stable, and fieldable gravity gradiometer will measure minute gravity field fluctuations to detect shielded SNM rapidly and with high detection fidelity. For Phase I AOSense designed and tested key components of the gravity sensor. For Phase II we will complete sensor subsystem build and integration. Laboratory and field testing will follow in Phase III of the proposed project. The proposed gravity gradiometer has numerous commercial applications: airborne gravity survey for mineral and oil prospecting, ground-based surveys to monitor water tables, and gravity-compensated inertial navigation. Compared to existing state-of-the-art gravity gradiometers, cold-atom sensors offer substantially improved stability, sensitivity, and SWaP at reduced complexity and cost.

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H-SB015.1-009

Company

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699

Proposal Information HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-009-0004-II - TlBr Detectors for Radiation Pagers
Topic Information H-SB015.1-009 - Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-16-C-00044
Abstract

RMD is proposing to construct a compact detector module for radiation pager applications utilizing a TlBr semiconductor device as the radiation sensitive element. Due to its excellent energy resolution, detection efficiency and low cost crystal growth method, a TlBr-based pager should greatly expand the capabilities and availability of these instruments. Various detector designs were evaluated during Phase I, using sensitivity and energy resolution as key differentiators. With a basic design now selected, RMD will start Phase II by refining design details and fabrication procedures, all with the goal of achieving a robust detector technology. The ANSI N42.32 standard will be met and further potential will be demonstrated towards meeting future radioisotopic identification needs. By program end, RMD will construct a prototype pager that highlights the technology. In its completed state, the TlBr technology will provide a new level of performance to the Nation's capabilities in monitoring the flow of radioactive materials within its borders. Other potential commercial applications include nuclear medicine, space and geological sciences and industrial non-destructive testing.

Company

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699

Proposal Information HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-009-0006-II - Semiconductor Neutron Detector
Topic Information H-SB015.1-009 - Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-16-C-00041
Abstract

We propose to develop a thermal neutron detection module based on LiInSe2 semiconductor material as an alternative to He-3 detectors. While recent depletion of He-3 gas is the main driving force behind development of He-3 replacements, other issues with He-3 tubes such as a pressurized vessel used and microphonic issues are also important factors in handheld and portable detectors. LiInSe2 offers (1) efficient thermal neutron detection (significantly higher per-volume than 3H); (2) direct conversion of the neutrons to electrical signal, which is an advantage compared to the alternative solution based on scintillators with neutron detection capabilities; and (3) good separation between gamma and neutron particles utilizing simple pulse height discrimination. The final goal is to develop a LiInSe2 detection module and integrate it into a compact handheld instrument. The technical objectives of Phase II is to advance the technology based on Phase I investigation and design and develop a neutron detection module and integrated into a neutron handheld instrument.

Company

Lithium Innovations Company, LLC
3171 N. Republic Blvd.
Toledo, OH 43615-1515

Proposal Information HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-009-0008-II - Personal Neutron Detector Based on Cadmium Telluride
Topic Information H-SB015.1-009 - Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-16-C-00042
Abstract

In this Phase II SBIR project, Lithium Innovations, in partnership with Lucintech Inc, will build on the success of its innovative thin-film neutron detector developed and tested in Phase I. The detector is based on the use of a metallic lithium-6 sensitizer layer paired with a thin-film CdS/CdTe heterojunction to detect the alpha and triton charged particles produced by the n + Li-6 reaction. This patent-pending detector has high sensitivity to thermal neutrons and extremely low sensitivity to gamma rays; it is light weight, robust, impervious to pressure variations, not susceptible to microphonics, operates at low voltage, and is scalable to large areas. In Phase I, Lithium Innovations has confirmed low-noise operation of these detectors with area greater than 5 sq.cm. and gamma rejection of greater than one million. In Phase II our team will extend its Phase I success to develop a portable neutron detector package in a small, hand-held configuration with neutron sensitivity of approximately 10 counts/(neutron/sq.cm.). The advances made in Phase I from DNDO have fully leveraged the combined technology of Lithium Innovations for handling and processing isotopically enriched Li-6 and the technology of Lucintech Inc for fabricating monolithically integrated thin-film solar modules. This innovative technology will be demonstrated to deliver a new generation of neutron detectors that will revolutionize the field of thermal neutron detection, monitoring, and imaging.

Company

CapeSym, Inc.
6 Huron Drive
Natick, MA 01760-1325

Proposal Information HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-009-0010-II - Stable Tl-based Semiconductor Modules for Radiation Detection
Topic Information H-SB015.1-009 - Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-16-C-00032
Abstract

Thallium-Bromide is a promising semiconductor material for detection of gamma rays, primarily due its high atomic number, high electrical resistivity, and optimum bandgap energy. This program focuses on development of TlBr radiation detector modules for room temperature applications and demonstration of two types of Personal Radiation Detection (PRD) systems based on TlBr modules. A number of ANSI N42.32 compliant PRDs will be supplied to the government at the end of the program for evaluation.

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