System, algorithm, and method using short pulse interrogation with neutrons to detect and identify matter

Patent Number: 11,061,164
Issued: 7/13/2021
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A system, method, and algorithm for detecting and identifying special nuclear material (SNM) (including fissionable material), explosives, or drugs is disclosed. This material detection system relies on active interrogation of material using a short, intense neutron pulse, and characterization of the resulting prompt gamma response in two short time windows, the first concurrent with and the second immediately following the end of the neutron pulse, optionally subject to a total transit delay time of the neutrons from the neutron source to the target and from the target to the gamma detector. A high data rate analysis system implements data stream analysis and statistical correlations of the two short time window gamma responses to rapidly detect or identify SNM, explosives, or drugs. The duration of the neutron pulse is so short that minimal dose results. Various shields help to minimize the background signal falling on the gamma detector to improve sensitivity.
Filed: 6/6/2019
Application Number: 16/433,576
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.