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 are able to 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.
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.
ANSTO launched its breakthrough CORIS360® imaging device in November 2020 at the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Boston, USA.
This new patented platform imaging technology, CORIS360®, makes the invisible, visible, 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.
HIFAR Reactor, ANSTO – Decommissioning operations
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 advanced 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 hence 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 1) and low energy scatter (Figure 2) hot spots to be localised.
Border monitoring demonstration
Sydney, Australia (2021)
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.
ANSTO – Dose rate control
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 5).
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 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.
Large field of view
Fast, precise imaging
Easy to use
Better data for improved operational decision making in radioactive environments
|Dimensions||210 mm × 425 mm (D × H) / 8.3” × 16.8” (D × H)|
|Weight||21.5 kg / 47.5 lbs|
|Power supply||100 VAC – 240 VAC (47 Hz – 63 Hz) Input|
|Operating temperature||5 °C – 40 °C (Ambient) / 41°F – 104°F (Ambient)|
|Ingress Protection Rating||IP54|
|Detector types||Cylindrical Ø1.5” CLLBC Scintillator with SiPM array|
|Cubic 0.5” CLLBC Scintillator with SiPM array|
|Energy resolution||~4% FWHM @ 662 keV|
|Energy range||40 keV to >3 MeV Gamma and Thermal Neutron Detection|
|Imaging region of interest||Peaks and non-peaks|
|Gamma field of view||360° × 90° (H × V)|
|Optical field of view||360° × 90° (H × V)|
|Max. angular resolution||21° ± 1°|
|Dose rate range||0.5 μSv/h – 2mSv/h (1.5” detector)mSv/h (1.5” detector),|
|1 μSv/h – 40mSv/h (0.5” detector).|
|Radionuclide identification||Customisable library of radioisotopes included|
|Communication||Ethernet 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.
Any questions ? Interested in other innovative gamma imaging solution for nuclear ? 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