Sparks, MD, United States

Brimrose Corporation of America

www.brimrose.com
Sparks, MD, United States

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Patent
Brimrose Corporation of America | Date: 2016-01-05

A nuclear radiation detector includes a solid-state detector material of formula Hg_(2)X_(2), where X is a halogen. The material is formulated to produce an analytically measurable electrical response to nuclear radiation at room-temperature. One or more electrodes are disposed on the detector material at which an electrical response is obtained.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.87K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: To ensure the United States remains safe from the threat of nuclear and radiological attacks requires advanced radiation detection with the ability to quickly and accurately detect illicit nuclear materials including dirty bombs and other dangerous radioisotopes. Existing nuclear radiation systems are still heavily based on technologies developed decades ago. These old technologies have either inadequate performance or require cryogenic cooling. Although research in recent years has led to some newer classes of room temperature semiconductor detectors, none of these newer materials can simultaneously satisfy all three critically important features for a practical, advanced room temperature radiation sensor: high performance, low cost and stable operation. We propose a new class of rugged, portable, low cost and very high performance gamma ray detectors based on mercurous bromide (Hg2Br2) that can potentially act as neutron detectors as well. We are the only company in the country currently capable of growing large crystals of Hg2Br2 and we have demonstrated initial encouraging detector response to both gamma and alpha particle incident radiation. Our goal is to deliver a breakthrough in detector technology that can address the limiting issues of current technologies.; BENEFIT: The objective of our proposed Phase I research is to demonstrate the feasibility of mercurous bromide (Hg2Br2) as a suitable material for a high performance, low cost, energy efficient and robust pager form device with dual gamma-neutron detection. The novel Hg2Br2-based detector has multiple advantages over existing technologies. It has similar gamma detection performance as HgI2 but with long term stability and larger detector volume. Ultimately, the plan is to continue the development where robustness and compactness of design will be top priority and the electronics will be extended to ASIC-based for practical dual gamma-neutron hand-held prototype device development for future manufacturing and commercialization. Hg2Br2-based radiation detectors are currently not available commercially at the present time while the need for a practically deployable alternative material to commercial off-the-shelf room temperature semiconductor materials has been of significant interests from the DOD, DHS, DOE, other Federal Agencies and even private sector such as Medical OEMs and Baggage Scanner OEMs (for TSA, X-Ray CT applications). We therefore will have very competitive advantage to be one of the first to provide a domestic source for this need.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Office for Chemical and Biological Defense | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.90K | Year: 2014

We propose an Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter (AOTF) Spectropolarimetric Imaging System for Enhanced Standoff Chemical Detection at Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) wavelengths. This work entails development of suitable LWIR material, design of the LWIR AOTF, and design of the hyperspectral imaging sensor using a focal plane array. Currently, there is no technologically mature, commercially available material at reasonable price for AOTF imaging in the LWIR wavelength range. We have been actively researching suitable materials for LWIR AOTF imaging systems for some time, and we also develop AOTF products commercially. We propose using mercurous halide crystals to fabricate the AOTF. The AOTF component has no moving parts, making it a rugged and reliable device, and it provides polarimetric imaging capabilities. Polarization analysis adds a valuable signature feature to imaging data, allowing a wide variety of targets to be detected with greatly enhanced contrast. The proposed hyperspectral polarimetric imaging system will have discrimination capabilities comparable to existing hyperspectral imaging chemical/biological sensors. The sensor will be able to passively detect small chemical plumes (25 meters or smaller) of a chemical agent such as sarin at relevant concentrations (less than 10 ppmv) at a distance of 5 kilometers or more under ambient conditions.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Office for Chemical and Biological Defense | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.83K | Year: 2014

We propose to develop low cost Long Wavelength Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (LWIR FPAs) using colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) of mercury telluride (HgTe). In Phase I, QDs in the size range of 20-25nm (corresponding to cutoff wavelength of 8 to 12 microns) w...


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 123.63K | Year: 2016

In this proposal, we demonstrate a new Raman imaging sensor based on a compact, CCD-mounted spectrometer. This enables high sensitivity and specificity for UV-Raman that will be capable of full-frame imaging, thus reducing size, weight, and power requirements, as well as eliminating the need for mechanical scanning and actuators to acquire data across a 2-dimensional image. The proposed program will establish the optical model and tools to estimate system performance, fabrication requirement and tolerance, formulate calibration procedure and evaluation criteria, develop critical optical component fabrication techniques and procedure, and chart the road for a Raman imager with improved performance that can be obtained with the state of the art fabrication techniques. In Phase II we will demonstrate a prototype imaging system and present a plan to infuse the technology into a NASA program.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.80K | Year: 2016

Radiation detectors that sense gamma and neutron radiation are critical to the exploration of planetary surface composition. Among the key technological challenges is to have a suitable detector that not only can be used for both gamma ray and neutron detection, but also satisfy the many highly desirable and essential for spaceflight properties: good energy resolution, high efficiency, high radiation tolerance, low power consumption, low volume, low weight and operation without cryogenic cooling. We propose a room temperature semiconductor detector (RTSD) using a single material that can detect both gamma radiation and neutron particles. The novel materials we propose are mercurous halides, Hg2X2 (X=Cl, Br) - mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2) and mercurous bromide (Hg2Br2). The development of these spectroscopy grade mercury halide-based radiation detectors are especially relevant to future NASA missions to any solid body in the solar system, including the Moon, terrestrial planets, asteroids, comets, and the moons of the other planets. Our goal is to deliver a breakthrough in detector technology that can lead to spectrometers that are capable of performing both gamma and neutron spectroscopy.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.48K | Year: 2015

The objective of this proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing light weight and thermally manageable integrated optical systems suitable for a variety of space and airborne high power directed energy applications. This project will focus on improving two of the most important parts of a high energy mirror design, the highly reflective mirror surface, and the light weight and stiff multifunctional substrate. Brimrose, in collaboration with Applied Research Laboratory of Penn State University, has successfully demonstrated the process for fabricating light weight thermally managed B4C and SiC based high energy laser mirrors substrates with field assisted sintering technique (FAST) in Phase I of this program. These ceramic substrates were polished to mirror quality finish and metallic reflectance enhancement coatings were deposited on the surfaces of these substrates to form integrated optical mirror systems. For Phase II of this program, B4C and SiC substrates with larger dimensions and complex shapes will be fabricated and polished. Metallic and dielectric reflectance enhancement coatings will be deposited. Evaluation of the properties and performance of these systems will include microstructural characterization, mechanical and thermal analyses, reflectance and laser damage threshold determinations. Approved for Public Release, 15-MDA-8303 (1 July 15)


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.46K | Year: 2015

We propose a spectrometer that employs a single room temperature semiconductor detector that can perform both gamma and neutron spectroscopy. The proposed detector is based on the novel mercurous halide materials, Hg2X2 (X=I, Cl, Br). The mercurous halides are new wide band-gap semiconductor detector materials that can provide radiation detection with low cost, high performance and long term stability. Despite years of research, no explored room temperature semiconductor detection candidates can satisfy all three features simultaneously. At Brimrose, we have successfully developed the growth procedures for high quality Hg2X2 crystals for long wavelength infrared (LWIR) imaging systems. Recently, we have been able to engineer our growth process toward gamma radiation detection and have demonstrated initial encouraging detector response from Hg2I2 to both gamma and alpha particle incident radiations. The focus will be on the material engineering aspect of the detector material itself (i.e., crystal growth and post growth processing), as well as on the detector fabrication and system design. The proposed mercurous halides-based nuclear instrument can be used onboard NASA's orbiters and landers for space planetology. Specifically, it can be used to determine surface and sub-surface composition of planetary bodies via both gamma spectroscopy and neutron spectroscopy.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.89K | Year: 2015

The overall objective of this work is to develop a radiation shielding material system that is sufficiently strong to serve as a load bearing structure. Such a materials system does not currently exist. The ideal shielding material for space applications should preferably be light weight with good mechanical strength and good thermal conductivity. We propose a novel approach to fabricate reinforced composite materials for radiation shielding applications using a powder metallurgy approach with sintering via the innovative Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST). The composite materials that we propose include various compositions of boron carbide (B4C) and tungsten carbide (WC) in either an aluminum matrix or in a polymer matrix of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). FAST (also called spark plasma sintering- SPS) is an innovative process that sinters powder with near 100% theoretical density and very limited to no grain growth. FAST is a one step process that is highly flexible and robust, with short processing cycles (100-1000 times faster). It is much more cost effective in comparison to conventional compaction and sintering methods, and it is also amenable to large scale production.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.50K | Year: 2015

One of the strategic goals of NASA's Planetary Science Mission is to advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system, the potential for life elsewhere. The current STTR addresses this strategic goal. The proto-type AOTF-based SWIR spectropolarimetric imaging system developed in Phase I (which will be further optimized and integrated with optimal algorithm/software in Phase II), will be a useful tool in determination of chemical composition and physical characteristics of planets of interest, short period comets, primitive meteorites and asteroid bodies, and in identifying the sources of simple chemicals important to prebiotic evolution and the emergence of life. The concept and proto-type instrument developed in this program operates as a hyper-spectral imager as well as a spectropolarimeter. It is capable of obtaining hyperspectral images and the polarization state at the pixel level. It is compact, rugged in nature, fully electronically controlled and has no moving parts. The images can be taken at any desired wavelength/s within the operational range, in any sequence. Hyperspectral data cubes will be collected using aforementioned systems. Before processing the spectral information in the data, system non-uniformity correction, spectral response correction, and atmospheric correction will be applied to the data.

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