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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C536770/1
Title: DTI TP : Portable Gamma-ray Spectrometer (DTI ref 10218)
Principal Investigator: Nolan, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Boston, Professor AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Technology Programme (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2005 Ends: 28 February 2009 Value (£): 274,587
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Nuclear Structure
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Environment
Related Grants:
EP/C536789/1 EP/C536797/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Gamma-ray spectrometers that can exactly identify the energy of gamma radiation and hence identify the isotope emitting the radiation have until recently used germanium as the active sensor. In most operations this has to be cooled to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (77K) which makes its operation outside the laboratory difficult. In recent developments germanium has been cooled using a mechanical refrigerator again making the operation away from the laboratory and a power supply very difficult.A new sensor, cadmium zinc telluride (CZT), is now available that is both small and operates at room temperature. Devices are coming onto the market based on CZT that will give some information on gamma-ray energies and hence isotope identification. Some devices have also been developed that are suitable for use in hospitals.This project aims to go several steps further to develop a truly portable gamma-ray spectrometer that can produce images of radiation coming from different directions and is suitable for remote deployment. A pair of CZT elements will be used with multiple readouts from each element. State-of-theart electronics will be developed to determine all the positions in which gamma radiation has hit the two elements and the directions from which it has come.. Suitable programmes will then be developed to produce an image of where the radiation has come from so that areas of high radiation can quickly be seen. In addition through an exact measurement of the gamma radiation energy the isotopes present can also be determined quickly. This can be carried out using a device similar in size to a laptop computerThe instrument will be designed so that it can be manually operated with a laptop computer and information stored for later transfer to a data base or other more permanent storage. An innovation will be that this instrument can be remotely operated and information transferred back to base so that the system can be deployed remotely or in hostile radiation environments.The system will be ideal for use in all applications requiring the detection of gamma radiation. Particularly suitable uses will be for radioactive waste assay, in battle field environments, the detection of nuclear accidents, sensing the radiation fallout from dirty bombs, environmental monitoring, gamma ray detection in crime and security situations following neutron activation (explosive detection).
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk