Gamma Imaging Solution with Neutron Detection

Is this your challenge?


Border protection and national security, decommissioning and decontamination, nuclear reactor operations, health physics, safeguards, defence and military, first responders – all these activities require the ability to effectively and efficiently detect, locate and work safely with radiation.

Amongst the radiation mapping solutions currently available, only a small number can render the complexity of both the optical scenario with the radiological environment. These analyse complex environments and make the invisible, visible, by identifying and imaging the exact location of radiation sources.

New techniques are now allowing the accurate visualisation and identification of isotope specific, and scattered, sources of radiation across a broad energy range; delivering high quality images and data for improved operational decision making in radioactive environments.

With the added benefits of portability, high sensitivity and a whole new approach to sensing technology, the capability is now here to deliver accurate mapping in complex environments even faster and more cost effectively than ever before.

inTechBrew’s insight


ANSTO is Australia’s nuclear centre of excellence, delivering benefits through the application of nuclear science and technology. As one of Australia’s largest public research organisations, ANSTO produces nuclear medicines to improve human health, contributes to the development of high-tech advanced manufacturing, supports the defence and national security industry, and provides access to more than AU$1billion of research infrastructure. Partnering with researchers, scientists, and engineers, ANSTO applies new technologies to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

nuclear innovation scan

ANSTO launched its breakthrough CORIS360® imaging device in November 2020 at the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Boston, USA.

This advanced patented platform imaging technology, CORIS360®, allows you to see more and know more by identifying and imaging the exact location of radiation sources. Using compressed sensing techniques (allowing for faster imaging), it can quickly produce precise 360° × 90° gamma-ray mapping across the full energy range (40 keV to >3 MeV), accurately localising radiation sources and rapidly identifying radioisotopes.

At inTechBrew, we do like the improved operability and interchangeable detector modules that allows the end-user to optimise the system configuration. With the ability to detect neutrons too, CORIS360® can certainly help deliver improved operational decision making for anyone working in radioactive environments and help keep workers safe.

User case 1: Search and Rescue


Australian Outback – Radioactive capsule goes missing

The Outback, Western Australia

A tiny 8mm by 6mm radioactive capsule went missing in January 2023, somewhere along a 1400 kilometre journey (870 miles) from Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri iron ore mine to its final destination in Perth, Western Australia (WA) To put this in perspective, this was something the size of a coin lost within a huge search area roughly equivalent to the distance by road from the far north of Scotland (John O’Groats) to the south west tip of England (Land’s End), it’s the distance from Washington DC to Orlando, Florida (US) or the long trip from Paris (France) to Varsovie (Poland).

capsule gamma ray
capsule map western australia

The Capsule

Used as a density gauge in the mining industry, the capsule contained a 20 GBq Caesium-137 (Cs-137) radioactive source. Easily enough to cause serious radiation sickness with prolonged exposure. Its disappearance was discovered on 25th of January when the equipment was unpacked in Perth (Australia). It is likely that a bolt which secured the capsule within the gauge sheared off and created a hole big enough for the capsule to fall out and then escape a wooden crate.


Figure 1: The missing radioactive capsule and the 1400km search route.

As the source was emitting high levels of radiation, enough to have significant impacts with extended exposure, it was imperative to find the source in a timely manner. On 27th of January, WA authorities notified the public that the capsule could be anywhere along the 1400 kilometre route. These authorities subsequently requested assistance in the source search from federal government agencies.

ANSTO, the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), all responded as part of a multi-agency response. By Wednesday 1 February, several teams were conducting searches, including three ANSTO teams: two based in Perth and one, known as team “Bravo”, in the town of Newman.

gamma ray detector car
Figure 2: CORIS360® mounted inside the lead vehicle in the “Bravo” convoy.

Detecting at 70 km/h

As part of ANSTO’s response, the Detection and Imaging team quickly modified the CORIS360®  technology to perform as a vehicle deployed detection system for the search mission. Pre-deployment drive-by test runs of the detection equipment were undertaken using an equivalent Cs-137 radioactive source at ANSTO’s facility in Sydney. This provided confidence the modified CORIS360® could detect the missing capsule over a range of speed, distance and terrain conditions.

Needle in a haystack

CORIS360® was mounted inside the lead vehicle in the “Bravo” convoy. In 40-degree celcius heat, travelling on the Great Northern Highway south of Newman at 70km/h (43 mph), the search team suddenly heard a beep: the CORIS360® system detected a spike in 662 keV gamma ray emissions.

An exclusion zone was quickly established. CORIS360®  was then redeployed outside the vehicle where the radioactive capsule was precisely identified (within minutes) in a location 2 meters (7 ft) from the side of the road. The capsule was then safely retreived using specialised equipment, transported under escort to Perth, then safely stored at an undisclosed location.

The modifications of the CORIS360®’ sensitivity shows an incredible exemplar of Australian nuclear expertise and responsiveness. In the formidable conditions of the outback looking for a needle in a haystack while travelling at 70 km/h, CORIS360® and Aussie nuclear know-how achieved what seemed to be impossible in a very short period of time.

Gamma ray on location
Figure 3: CORIS360® identified the exact location of the missing Cs-137 source in the Australian outback.

User case 2: Decommissioning


HIFAR Reactor, ANSTO – Decommissioning operations

Sydney, Australia

The High Flux Australian Reactor (HIFAR) was a 10 MW DIDO class reactor used primarily for neutron scattering experiments and radioisotope production. After almost 50 years of safe and productive service, the reactor ceased operations in 2007 and is now being decommissioned by ANSTO. Fuel is no longer present, but residual dose in the reactor tank is ~10-200 Sv/h (1,000 – 20,000 rem/h). The safe, efficient and cost-effective dismantling of the HIFAR reactor requires an accurate characterisation of radionuclide activity, including the mapping of any radiation and its dose rate.

CORIS360® uses compressed sensing technology to accurately localise sources of radiation. This sophisticated technology allows spectroscopic images to be taken with far fewer samples than conventional imaging techniques. This means there is a significant reduction in the time to acquire images, while maintaining high image quality. The compressed sensing technology used in the CORIS360® imaging system uses a single, non-position sensitive detector.

The portable CORIS360® was deployed around the HIFAR facility, including the D2O plant room where the dose rate at the detector was measured at 7.5 μSv/h. Gamma images from different energy regions of the spectrum were subsequently generated from a single acquisition, allowing both 60Co (Figure 4) and low energy scatter (Figure 5) hot spots to be localised.

radiation detected
Figure 4: 60Co radiation was identified and imaged.
D2O radiation
Figure 5: Low energy scattered radiation was identified and imaged.

User case 3: National security


Border monitoring demonstration

Sydney, Australia

The illicit movement of radioactive material poses a major risk to national and international security and continues to drive government policy around the world. The ability to quickly and accurately detect and locate radiological threats transported amongst the immense volume of routine cargo shipments is essential for national security and to minimise disruption to the flow of commerce. 

Current detection methods rely heavily on passive gamma-ray detectors, without imaging functionality. These are typically configured in the form of primary fixed portal monitors deployed at ports of entry but are challenged by nuisance alarms, resulting in time consuming and costly additional secondary screening with mobile radioisotope identification devices.

CORIS360® can enhance national security outcomes with reduced impact on commerce, by quickly performing secondary screening of people, vehicles and cargo containers. Combining radiological imaging functionality with the ability to image multiple threat signatures from a single acquisition (see Figures 3 & 4) and a neutron detection capability, CORIS360® can deliver significant national security benefits.

nuclear security
Figure 6: Simulated checkpoint search where multiple vehicles were screened in a single acquisition
nuclear border control
Figure 7: The panorama shows the location of two hidden 137Cs sources of radiation

User case 4: Radiation protection (neutron)


ANSTO – Dose rate control

Sydney, Australia

During the commissioning of SPATZ (a time-of-flight neutron reflectometer), elevated gamma dose rates were measured outside of the beamline enclosure. It was not viable to use conventional methods to collect dose rate survey information and determine the origin of the radiation hazard, as access is restricted inside the enclosure when the beamline is in operation. Without the high dose rate areas being localised and shielded, the neutron flux would need to be reduced, degrading the performance of the instrument and limiting research capabilities.

The CORIS360® advanced radiation imaging technology was deployed inside the SPATZ enclosure during operation of the beamline. It quickly identified the source and location of the radiation hazard within the neutron beam enclosure. The imaging results showed a high dose rate region localised to the beamline, which was caused by the neutron beam interacting with the boron shielding and inducing prompt gamma emissions. The exact location of the boron gamma emissions can clearly be seen (Figure 8).

research reactor nuclear innovation
Figure 8: Image of the neutron beam line prompt gamma emissions that were causing dose rates above acceptable limits

The technology: CORIS360®

Using compressive sensing technology, CORIS360® is exceptionally fast at pinpointing the exact location of radiation sources. One of the main advantages of the technology is a reduction in the number of measurements required for both point and more complex gamma radiation sources. Gamma-ray imaging techniques designed around the principles of compressed sensing have the potential to lead and exploit a new class of fast imaging systems.

Compressed sensing – a new approach for faster results

Traditional imaging is based on the sampling of uniform discrete elements (pixels) in the entire image field of view. This is how the millions of camera pixels take pictures on our mobile phones. Since these raw optical image files are very large, they are normally compressed into the JPEG format, before sharing. This compressed JPEG image maintains the high quality of the original image but is only a fraction of the original file size. Therefore, the useful information is only a small fraction of the measured information. Imagine the benefits of only measuring the useful information in the first place!

This is how the compressed sensing technique works and is used by the CORIS360® platform. It can directly acquire only the important information in a compressed form, rather than measuring the whole data set and then compressing. Gamma-ray images generated using other imaging methodologies, however, use a significant amount of their detection volume and/or time observing regions where the gamma-ray source is not located. 

For example, traditional imaging techniques typically requires 256 samples to reproduce a 256-pixel image. Compressed sensing imaging, however, can generate an image with far fewer samples. For example, a point source can be imaged in as few as only 25 samples, representing a 90% reduction in the number of samples needed. Hence delivering significant savings in time, money, and resources.

Low energy photon imaging

CORIS360® can image low energy photons (such as those from 241Am and 235U) as well as any photon energy over the 40 keV to greater than 3 MeV range. 

Other imaging methods, such as Compton cameras, cannot image low energy photons. They rely on a second imaging add-on (i.e., coded aperture or pinhole) in order to image low energy photons over a narrow field of view. 

CORIS360® uses a single imaging methodology that enables the broad energy spectrum to be imaged over a wide field of view. CORIS360® can image from 40 keV to greater than 3 MeV across the imager’s full field of view (360° x 90°).

Interchangeable detectors

Interchangeable detector modules allow the end-user to optimise the system configuration for the radiation environment where work is being undertaken. A larger volume detector is more suited to low dose rate environments, while a smaller volume detector is ideally suited for higher dose rate environments. The plug and play design of the detector module also enables a broad range of current and future detector materials to be incorporated into the imaging system.

radioactive source

Large field of view

  • Unprecedented scene visualisation with a wide 360° optical and gamma field of view (360° x 90°)
  • Simultaneous imaging of multiple radionuclides over a broad energy range (40 keV to >3 MeV).

Fast, precise imaging

  • Compressed sensing imaging quickly and accurately localises radiation sources
  • Spectroscopic detector to provide full spectral imaging
  • Rapid automatic identification of sources
  • Ability to detect the presence of neutrons
  • High sensitivity (max detector crystal volume 44 cm3
  • Overlaying a 360° x 90° radiation image onto a panoramic optical image of the scene. 
coris nuclear ansto

Easy to use

  • Easy to set up, ready to use in 2 minutes
  • User-friendly with an intuitive interface
  • Remotely operated to keep workers safe
  • Compact, portable, well-suited for indoor and outdoor use 
  • Operates in low and high dose environments, 0.5 μSv/h – 40 mSv/h for 137Cs.

Better data for improved operational decision making in radioactive environments

  • Acquires high quality images with up to 10 times fewer samples than traditional sampling methods, delivering significant savings in time, money, and resources
man with radiation sensor
  • Overlaying a wide 360° × 90° radiation image onto a panoramic optical image in a single acquisition, makes interpretation easy. 
  • Accurate visualisation and identification of isotope specific, and scattered, sources of radiation across a broad energy range to gain a greater understanding of work environments. 
  • Imaging of multiple point sources as well as extended sources
  • Identification and imaging of multiple isotopes from a single data acquisition
  • Initial survey of the radiation scene allows for an optimised, intelligent radiation assessment plan based on knowledge gained from imaging.
Dimensions210 mm × 425 mm (D × H)8.3” × 16.8” (D × H)
Weight15 kgs 33 lbs
Power supply100 VAC – 240 VAC (47 Hz – 63 Hz) Input
Operating temperature5 °C – 40 °C (Ambient)41°F – 104°F (Ambient)
Ingress Protection RatingIP54
Detector typesCylindrical Ø1.5” CLLBC Scintillator with SiPM array
Cubic 0.5” CLLBC Scintillator with SiPM array
Energy resolution~4% FWHM @ 662 keV
Energy range40 keV to >3 MeV Gamma and Thermal Neutron Detection
Imaging region of interestPeaks and non-peaks
Gamma field of view360° × 90° (H × V)
Optical field of view360° × 90° (H × V)
Max. angular resolution21° ± 1°
Dose rate range0.5 μSv/h – 2mSv/h (1.5” detector).
1 μSv/h – 40mSv/h (0.5” detector).
Radionuclide identificationCustomisable library of radioisotopes included
CommunicationEthernet connected to PC/laptop

Note on CORIS360® neutron imaging: At present, CORIS360® can detect the presence of neutrons as well as imaging across the broad range of gamma energies. Future product development underway will incorporate a thermal neutron imaging capability as well.

Gamma Ray detection

Any questions ? Interested in other innovative gamma imaging solution for nuclear safety ? Do not hesitate to contact us directly, we will help you find a fit-for-purpose, cost-efficient solution to your challenge.


ANSTO – Sydney

New Illawarra Road,

Lucas Heights NSW 2234, Australia

Tel: +61 2 9727 3311



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