GE-Reuter Stokes to Market SNS-Designed Electronics


Manufacturer of Reuter Stokes radiation detection equipment, GE Energy, has signed a technology transfer agreement to market the electronics and software associated with the SNS 8Pack neutron detector system, an award-winning design for a system of sensitive neutron detectors developed at ORNL.

The modular SNS 8Pack (front and back views shown in inset) can be combined for very large detector arrays, such as the SNS 8Pack array (larger image) created for the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL.

The SNS 8Pack is a compact neutron detection system created for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), a record-setting DOE neutron science facility located at ORNL.

The electronics behind the system can determine both the time and position of the neutron captured, enabling very accurate neutron time-of-flight measurements. In addition, the SNS 8Pack has large-area detector overage, extremely low power requirements, and digital communication capability.

"It is exciting that, even as the SNS ramps up to its full power of 1.4 megawatts, technologies from its development are already finding their way to the marketplace," said ORNL Director Thom Mason.

Leo VanderSchuur, product line general manager for GE Energy’s Reuter Stokes Measurement Solutions, said that "combining GE’s expertise in
designing detectors for neutron scattering instruments with the high-speed electronics and software developed by SNS is a natural fit. This state-of-the-art design will benefit the neutron scattering community with high-speed performance and advanced time-of-flight capabilities."

"The system is modular so that very large detector arrays can be built. You can have greater than 50 square meters of detector coverage," said Ron Cooper, a member of the SNS development team. “It has high rate capability, good position resolution, and features modern, distributed personal-computer-based electronics."

Another attractive feature is its very lower power requirement. "The SNS 8Pack requires very little power to operate—less than 10 watts. In fact, it can be powered by a small solar panel," said Cooper.

Interest in the product for commercial applications has ranged from incorporation into systems at other neutron science facilities to security applications, such as monitoring by land, air, and sea shipping.



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