Clark School Home UMD
ECE

ECE News Story

ECE Professor Introduces Method for Detecting Concealed Radioactive Materials

ECE Professor Introduces Method for Detecting Concealed Radioactive Materials

Professor Victor Granatstein (ECE/IREAP) and Research Scientist Gregory S. Nusinovich (IREAP) have proposed a scheme for detecting concealed radioactive materials without searching shipping containers one by one.

The concept, described in a recent article co-authored by Granatstein and Nusinovich in the Journal of Applied Physics, is based on the gamma-ray emission from the radioactive material that would pass through the shipping container walls and ionize the surrounding air. The breakdown of the air in a focused beam of high-power radiation would indicate the presence of the radioactive material. The gamma rays coming through the container walls could be detected by a pulsed electromagnetic source.

Detection of radioactive material concealed in shipping containers is important in the early prevention of "dirty" bomb construction.

The team evaluated several candidate sources for this detection.

"It is not yet clear whether this approach to detection of nuclear material is practical," said Prof. Granatstein, "but it is worth pursuing, since it might impact an important need related to national security."

The article describing the research, titled "Detecting Excess Ionizing Radiation by Electromagnetic Breakdown of Air," by Victor L. Granatstein and Gregory S. Nusinovich, appears in the Journal of Applied Physics, and can be accessed at http://link.aip.org/link/japiau/v108/i6/p063304/s1.

November 9, 2010


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

President Obama names Michael Rotkowitz a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Prof. Ed Ott to receive Richardson Medal (EGU) and Moser Award (SIAM)

Leite Nanophotonics Research Featured on Advanced Optical Materials Cover

Gov Hogan Announces UMD’s Role in $65M Environmental Agenda

Apple Publishes Artificial Intelligence Paper for the First Time Ever Lead by UMD Alumnus

Liu Wins 2016 IEEE Signal Processing Society Meritorious Service Award

University of Maryland to Establish Research Center of Excellence with UTC Climate, Controls & Security and Otis

Papamanthou Receives NetApp Faculty Fellowship Award

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts