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Detecting radiation in a standoff geometry with mid-IR laser breakdown
Author(s): D. Woodbury; R. M. Schwartz; J. Isaacs; P. Sprangle; H. M. Milchberg
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Paper Abstract

Several recently proposed methods for detecting radioactivity at range involve driving laser induced avalanche breakdown seeded by electrons or negative ions whose density are elevated in the vicinity of a radioactive source. Using a chirped, mid-IR laser, we drive breakdowns at 1 meter standoff distances and monitor the breakdown timing using the backscattered spectrum. In addition to the on/off radiation detection based on the increased probability of finding a seed electron in the focal volume, we also can determine the spatial distribution of these seed electrons in the focal volume through temporal information encoded in this backscatter spectrum. We demonstrate that the backscatter spectrum is a superior detection method relative to visible plasma fluorescence, total pump backscatter, or absolute backscatter timing in its ability to determine the relative radiation level. We discuss scaling to longer focal geometries inherent in remote sensing and possible limitations to the technique, supported by modeling

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11010, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XX, 110101D (17 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2526126
Show Author Affiliations
D. Woodbury, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
R. M. Schwartz, Univ. of Maryland Energy Research Ctr. (United States)
J. Isaacs, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
P. Sprangle, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
H. M. Milchberg, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11010:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XX
Jason A. Guicheteau; Chris R. Howle, Editor(s)

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