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FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS

Scientists Bring Astronomical Radiation Detection Techniques Down to Earth

By serving as technical advisors to the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and by supporting DNDO in enacting Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) programs, USRA scientists have developed test plans and execution scenarios and provided technical advice during test execution. Scientists at (USRA/CRESST), also serve as technical leads for the Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL) program and the Stand-Off Radiation Detection System (SORDS) ATD program. The ATD program, now known as the Near Term Research Program (NTRP), involves the development and testing of innovative technologies in order to determine the existence of gaps in nuclear detection capabilities. Within the IPRL program, scientists develop technologies that can autonomously detect the source of radiation and can discriminate between normally occurring radioactive materials, background, and potential threats. The SORDS program, which was completed as of FY10, involved systems designed to detect and identify radiation sources from a mobile platform at a long distance; the DHS' Long Range Radiation Detection (LRRD) program is the follow-on program to SORDS.

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Scientists work with the Department of Homeland Security to determine the existence of gaps in nuclear detection capabilities.