- Number 302 |
- December 21, 2009
Ge Mini: Portable gamma spectrometer
A team of scientists and engineers from DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed GeMini—a portable gamma-ray spectrometer based on germanium technology. The instrument is so small that it fits in the palm of a hand, and this spectrometer is outfitted with an innovative low-powered, miniature cooling mechanism.
The GeMini spectrometer is a next generation instrument based on an LLNL technology that was launched on NASA's Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft and is now taking the first-ever gamma-ray data of the planet Mercury. GeMini also can be used to help prevent smuggling of nuclear materials and can assist in the implementation of international safeguards of nuclear fuel cycle facilities.
This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the NNSA Office of Dismantlement and Transparency in support of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative.
In addition to its applications in space and in counterterrorism, GeMini also can be used to verify conditions at nuclear power plants and to evaluate weapon stockpiles. Compared to other options, GeMini can identify nuclear materials with a higher level of certainty and at a considerable cost savings. Its unique design--innovative cooling system, small, light weight, rugged construction, low-power consumption, and automated operations--makes GeMini the most versatile, economical and precise gamma-ray spectrometer designed for use in the field and in deep space.
[Steve Wampler 925.423.3107,