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Proceedings Paper

Covariance spectroscopy applied to nuclear radiation detection
Author(s): R. Trainham; J. Tinsley; R. Keegan; W. Quam
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Paper Abstract

Covariance spectroscopy is a method of processing second order moments of data to obtain information that is usually absent from average spectra. In nuclear radiation detection it represents a generalization of nuclear coincidence techniques. Correlations and fluctuations in data encode valuable information about radiation sources, transport media, and detection systems. Gaining access to the extra information can help to untangle complicated spectra, uncover overlapping peaks, accelerate source identification, and even sense directionality. Correlations existing at the source level are particularly valuable since many radioactive isotopes emit correlated gammas and neutrons. Correlations also arise from interactions within detector systems, and from scattering in the environment. In particular, correlations from Compton scattering and pair production within a detector array can be usefully exploited in scenarios where direct measurement of source correlations would be unfeasible. We present a covariance analysis of a few experimental data sets to illustrate the utility of the concept.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8142, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIII, 81420Q (14 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896552
Show Author Affiliations
R. Trainham, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
J. Tinsley, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
R. Keegan, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
W. Quam, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8142:
Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIII
Larry A. Franks; Ralph B. James; Arnold Burger, Editor(s)

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