A novel fast-neutron tomography system based on a plastic scintillator array and a compact D-D neutron generator

Robert Adams, Robert Zboray, Horst Michael Prasser

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    20 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Very few experimental imaging studies using a compact neutron generator have been published, and to the knowledge of the authors none have included tomography results using multiple projection angles. Radiography results with a neutron generator, scintillator screen, and camera can be seen in Bogolubov et al. (2005), Cremer et al. (2012), and Li et al. (2014). Comparable results with a position-sensitive photomultiplier tube can be seen in Popov et al. (2011). One study using an array of individual fast neutron detectors in the context of cargo scanning for security purposes is detailed in Eberhardt et al. (2005). In that case, however, the emphasis was on very large objects with a resolution on the order of 1. cm, whereas this study focuses on less massive objects and a finer spatial resolution. In Andersson et al. (2014) three fast neutron counters and a D-T generator were used to perform attenuation measurements of test phantoms. Based on the axisymmetry of the test phantoms, the single-projection information was used to calculate radial attenuation distributions of the object, which was compared with the known geometry. In this paper a fast-neutron tomography system based on an array of individual detectors and a purpose-designed compact D-D neutron generator is presented. Each of the 88 detectors consists of a plastic scintillator read out by two Silicon photomultipliers and a dedicated pulse-processing board. Data acquisition for all channels was handled by four single-board microcontrollers. Details of the individual detector design and testing are elaborated upon. Using the complete array, several fast-neutron images of test phantoms were reconstructed, one of which was compared with results using a Co-60 gamma source. The system was shown to be capable of 2. mm resolution, with exposure times on the order of several hours per reconstructed tomogram. Details about these measurements and the analysis of the reconstructed images are given, along with a discussion of the capabilities of the system and its outlook.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
    Volume107
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Radiation

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