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Application of pulsed fast neutrons analysis to cargo inspection

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0168-9002(94)91751-5
  • Design


Abstract Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis (PFNA) is a technique which uses a collimated pulsed beam of fast neutrons to excite the nuclei of common elements in bulk materials. Direct imaging of the elemental contents of the material is accomplished by using time-of-flight analysis to identify the position of the interactions and gamma-ray spectroscopy to identify the elemental gamma rays. From the ratios and absolute measurements of elemental abundances the identification of the material can be deduced. The PFNA Cargo Inspection System uses a volume type negative ion source and a double drift bunching system to create an intense beam of nano-second bunched negative deuterium ions which, after acceleration to around 6 MeV, impinge on a deuterium gas target producing pulsed neutrons. A unique high speed data acquisition system digitizes and analyzes the time-energy data in real time. Experimental studies and computer simulations were extensively employed to characterize and optimize the design parameters of the system. The system described is scheduled for full scale laboratory testing in the fall of 1994 and for field testing at a Government Testbed in Tacoma, WA in 1995.

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