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G. Hearn, "Mutable Detector Array Software for the Detection of Gamma Emissions in Classrooms and the Field," M.S. Thesis, Health Physics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2012).


Detector arrays are required for many applications in health and defense. Whether searching for contraband or controlling radioactive spread after an event, a "passive" data collection strategy is a key component. This can take the form of portal monitors attached to a fixed location or a movable array, attached to a vehicle or person, which searches for abnormalities in the radiation background. The main goal of this project was to create software that would allow the digiBASE-E to be used to create arrays of gamma detection instruments and gather data over a long span of time. To take full advantage of the digiBASE-E, the software focused on the list mode capabilities of these devices. List mode attaches a timestamp to each detection event. Every particle detected can be traced to a particular point in time, and the full history of the device?s detection over the acquisition period can be reconstructed. The list mode ability of the digiBASE-E is a powerful tool for producing arrays of detectors, as a more familiar spectrum can be generated for any arbitrary section of time, even after-the-fact. The software package, called "CraneWow", was field tested at the Port of Tacoma in August of 2011. Perl scripts included as part of the package were used to partially analyze the data collected, allowing for verification of the proof-of-concept's success. The software was written in C/C++, with supplemental scripts written in Perl to facilitate processing of the data once collected. Additionally, a user manual and programming guide were written to allow easy use and maintenance of the software.

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Associated Project(s):

  • SHIELD (Smuggled HEU Interdiction through Enhanced anaLysis and Detection): A Framework for Developing Novel Detection Systems Focused on Interdicting Shielded HEU

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