Available Technology

Large Dynamic Range Detector

Typical radiation detectors used to search for radioactive sources or detect radiation hazards by many fire departments and other emergency responders are Geiger counters that measure relatively low levels of gamma radiation. Such detectors saturate and become useless in a high radiation field that might be produced by fallout from a nuclear explosion, a reactor accident, mishandling or release of a strong radioactive source, or malicious release of radiation. Other types of radiation detectors, such as a silicon semiconductor diode, can measure very high radiation fields, but they are unable to detect the more common weaker sources of radiation. Neither of these detector types is able to measure gamma-ray spectra, which is required to identify the type of radiation source. More sophisticated and very expensive radiation detectors are in use to measure gamma-ray spectra.
Patent Abstract: 
The LLNL detector measures radiation over a large dynamic range, spanning both high hazardous levels and weak levels, including natural background radiation. In weak radiation fields, the detector also measures gamma-ray spectra.
applications 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
19909
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