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Characterization and Comparison of New Concepts in Neutron Detection. MIDN 2/C Kayla J. Sax. Advisers: Professor Martin E. Nelson – Mechanical Engineering Professor Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic – Systems Engineering CAPT Charles B. Cameron – Electrical Engineering

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characterization and comparison of new concepts in neutron detection

Characterization and Comparison of New Concepts in Neutron Detection

MIDN 2/C Kayla J. Sax

Advisers:

Professor Martin E. Nelson – Mechanical Engineering

Professor Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic – Systems Engineering

CAPT Charles B. Cameron – Electrical Engineering

Professor James F. Ziegler – Physics

overview
Overview
  • Objective
  • Related Work and Support
  • Background
  • Method
  • Analysis
  • Applications
  • Contribution
  • Questions
objective
Objective
  • Premise
  • Objective: Evaluate both unmodified and modified memory chips for sensitivity to neutrons, comparing them to conventional detection systems, in an effort to establish their potential for general scientific use.
naval research laboratory related work and support
Naval Research Laboratory: Related Work and Support
  • Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
    • Point of contact: Dr. Harold Hughes, Solid State Devices Branch
  • Developing device to be utilized for remote detection of nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
  • Supporting and funding project.
neutron detection system applications
Neutron Detection System Applications
  • Hospitals and Health physics
  • Nuclear power plants
  • International nuclear weapons treaty compliance
  • Homeland security
  • Military
conventional neutron detection systems

Lithium Fluoride Crystals

Conventional Neutron Detection Systems
  • Non-powered
    • Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD)
    • Foil activation detector
    • Bubble detector
    • Track-etch detector
  • Powered
    • BF3 proportional counter
    • 3He proportional counter
conventional neutron detection systems1
Conventional Neutron Detection Systems

Non-powered

Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD)

Foil activation detector

Bubble detector

Track-etch detector

Powered

BF3 proportional counter

3He proportional counter

conventional neutron detection systems2
Conventional Neutron Detection Systems

Non-powered

Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD)

Foil activation detector

Bubble detector

Track-etch detector

Powered

BF3 proportional counter

3He proportional counter

conventional neutron detection systems3
Conventional Neutron Detection Systems

Non-powered

Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD)

Foil activation detector

Bubble detector

Track-etch detector

Powered

BF3 proportional counter

3He proportional counter

conventional neutron detection systems4
Conventional Neutron Detection Systems

Non-powered

Thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD)

Foil activation detector

Bubble detector

Track-etch detector

Powered

BF3 proportional counter

3He proportional counter

conventional neutron detection systems advantages and disadvantages
Conventional Neutron Detection Systems:Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Non-powered
    • Advantages:
      • Require no external energy source and therefore can operate in almost any environment.
      • Relatively inexpensive compared to more complicated powered detectors.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Passive; provide the user no instantaneous information.
  • Powered
    • Advantages:
      • Active; provide information on radiation exposure more quickly and more often.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Require a significant amount of power, operating at 900V – 1500V.
detection methods based on integrated circuit components
Detection Methods Based on Integrated Circuit Components
  • Conventional detection systems that rely on integrated circuit components:
    • Direct Ion Storage (DIS) Dosimeter
    • Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) Dosimeter
  • No neutron detection system relying on memory cells is currently competitive with other detectors.
utilizing static random access memory sram for neutron detection
Utilizing Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) for Neutron Detection
  • Metric: Soft Error Rate (SER)
  • Theory: Technological advances and their result on SER trends.
  • Result: An SRAM chip with a high SER makes an inferior memory device but an excellent neutron detector.
unmodified chip
Unmodified Chip

Typical Unmodified Memory Chip Dimensions (Cross-Section)

sensitivity enhancing modification of chips
Sensitivity-Enhancing Modification of Chips

Modified Memory Chip (Cross-Section)

sensitivity enhancing modification of chips1
Sensitivity-Enhancing Modification of Chips

Modified Memory Chip (Isometric View)

neutron sources available at usna

Pu-Be Source

USNA D-D Neutron Generator

USNA D-T Neutron Generator in Exposure Room

USNA Sub-Critical Reactor

Neutron Sources Available at USNA
analysis
Analysis
  • Sensitivity of each detection system to a particular incident neutron energy established.
  • Confidence level for each sensitivity determined.
  • Minimum dose sensitivity and dose saturation level established.
special application screening cargo containers for wmds
Special Application: Screening Cargo Containers for WMDs
  • NRL scheduled to produce three additional devices.
  • Pending successful production, NRL has asked to collaborate with me to extend my research into evaluating the group of new devices.
  • Expansion of work into developing a new system of nuclear WMD monitors for cargo containers.
timeline
Timeline
  • 2/C Spring Semester
    • Take Reactor Physics I (EM362)
    • Conduct additional background research
  • 1/C Summer
    • Participate in University of Florida Internship
    • Order bubble detectors and track-etch detectors
    • Obtain unmodified/modified chips and tester from NRL
  • 1/C Fall Semester
    • Ensure operational status of detection systems
    • Cross-calibrate TLD, bubble, and track-etch detectors against foil activation with 14 MeV source
    • Test, analyze, and evaluate all detectors with 14 MeV source
    • Write interim report
  • 1/C Spring Semester
    • Test, analyze, and evaluate all detectors with remaining sources
    • Conduct complete comparative analysis
    • Write and present final Trident Scholar report
    • Present final results at a technical conference
contribution
Contribution
  • Characterization of a brand new concept in neutron detection.
  • Establish the potential for detection system to improve existing applications.
  • Establish the potential for detection system to be implemented as a remote special nuclear material detection system in cargo containers.
characterization and comparison of new concepts in neutron detection1

Characterization and Comparison of New Concepts in Neutron Detection

Advisers:

Professor Martin E. Nelson – Mechanical Engineering

Professor Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic – Systems Engineering

CAPT Charles B. Cameron – Electrical Engineering

Professor James F. Ziegler – Physics

MIDN 2/C Kayla J. Sax

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