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Gantryless Associated-Particle Neutron Radiography

by Matthew R Heath, Jacob D Daughhetee, Paul A Hausladen, Robert J Newby, James T Matta
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

The present work reports on the development of techniques for in-field fast-neutron radiography measurements using the associated-particle imaging (API) method. The API method employs alpha-neutron coincidences from the d+t→α+n reaction to enable fast neutron transmission imaging with excellent contrast using a wide cone beam. However, for field radiography applications, the API method is burdened by the need for the relative positions of the source and detector to be known. Fortunately, these relative positions can be inferred from transmission data. The inferred positions also enable accurate stitching of multiple images into a composite image even when using a low-resolution detector panel and acquiring images having few overlapping pixels. The developed techniques address analysis of measurements where (1) the source and detector panel are separately hand positioned rather than held in registration by a gantry, (2) multiple detector panel positions within the “coincident cone” of tagged neutrons are required to piece together an image of an item of interest, and (3) normalization measurements that have identical source-detector positioning but without the inspected object are not possible. The present work will describe the system calibrations (including timing calibrations and neutron direction calibrations) necessary for subsequent analyses, the method of locating the detector in the coincident cone of neutrons with millimeter precision using the timing and directions of coincident neutrons, the method of calculating a normalization image for a given detector panel position, and the method used to project multiple images into a common image.