skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: In-situ Calibration of Detectors using Muon-induced Neutrons

In this work we investigate a method that confirms the operability of neutron detectors requiring neither radiological sources nor radiation generating devices. This is desirable when radiological sources are not available, but confidence in the functionality of the instrument is required. The “source”, based on the production of neutrons in high-Z materials by muons, provides a tagged, low-background and consistent rate of neutrons that can be used to check the functionality of or calibrate a detector. Using a Monte Carlo guided optimization, an experimental apparatus was designed and built to evaluate the feasibility of this technique. Through a series of trial measurements in a variety of locations we show that gated muon-induced neutrons appear to provide a consistent source of neutrons (35.9 ± 2.3 measured neutrons/10,000 muons in the instrument) under normal environmental variability (less than one statistical standard deviation for 10,000 muons) with a combined environmental + statistical uncertainty of ~18% for 10,000 muons. This is achieved in a single 21-22 minute measurement at sea level.
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States). Radiation and Nuclear Detection Systems
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
Country of Publication:
United States