A field-deployable, aircraft-mounted sensor for the environmental survey of radionuclides
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The Environmental Radionuclide Sensor System (ERSS)3 is an extremely sensitive sensor, which has been cooperatively developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Special Technologies Laboratory (STL) for environmental surveys of radionuclides. The ERSS sensors fit in an airborne pod and include twenty High-Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors for the high-resolution measurement of gamma-ray emitting radionuclides, twenty-four3He detectors for possible neutron measurements, and two video cameras for visual correlation. These acrial HPGe sensors provide much better gamma-ray energy resolution than can be obtained with NaI(TI) detectors. The associated electronics fit into three racks. The system can be powered by the 28 V DC electrical supply of typical aircraft or 120 V AC. The data acquisition hardware is controlled by customized software and a real-time display is provided. Each gamma-ray event is time stamped and stored for later analysis. This paper will present the physical design, discuss the software used to control the system, and provide some examples of its use.
KeywordsRadionuclide Germanium Energy Resolution Electrical Supply Sensitive Sensor
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