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Title: Bubble masks for time-encoded imaging of fast neutrons.

Time-encoded imaging is an approach to directional radiation detection that is being developed at SNL with a focus on fast neutron directional detection. In this technique, a time modulation of a detected neutron signal is inducedtypically, a moving mask that attenuates neutrons with a time structure that depends on the source position. An important challenge in time-encoded imaging is to develop high-resolution two-dimensional imaging capabilities; building a mechanically moving high-resolution mask presents challenges both theoretical and technical. We have investigated an alternative to mechanical masks that replaces the solid mask with a liquid such as mineral oil. Instead of fixed blocks of solid material that move in pre-defined patterns, the oil is contained in tubing structures, and carefully introduced air gapsbubblespropagate through the tubing, generating moving patterns of oil mask elements and air apertures. Compared to current moving-mask techniques, the bubble mask is simple, since mechanical motion is replaced by gravity-driven bubble propagation; it is flexible, since arbitrary bubble patterns can be generated by a software-controlled valve actuator; and it is potentially high performance, since the tubing and bubble size can be tuned for high-resolution imaging requirements. We have built and tested various single-tube mask elements, and will present resultsmore » on bubble introduction and propagation as a function of tubing size and cross-sectional shape; real-time bubble position tracking; neutron source imaging tests; and reconstruction techniques demonstrated on simple test data as well as a simulated full detector system.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States