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Anderson-Cook C.,Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Burr T.,Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Hamada M.S.,Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Ruggiero C.,Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Thomas E.V.,Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems
Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Year: 2015

Forensic science aims to infer characteristics of source terms using measured observables. Our focus is on statistical design of experiments and data analysis challenges arising in nuclear forensics. More specifically, we focus on inferring aspects of experimental conditions (of a process to produce product Pu oxide powder), such as temperature, nitric acid concentration, and Pu concentration, using measured features of the product Pu oxide powder. The measured features, Y, include trace chemical concentrations and particle morphology such as particle size and shape of the produced Pu oxide power particles. Making inferences about the nature of inputs X that were used to create nuclear materials having particular characteristics, Y, is an inverse problem. Therefore, statistical analysis can be used to identify the best set (or sets) of Xs for a new set of observed responses Y. One can fit a model (or models) such as Y = f(X) + error, for each of the responses, based on a calibration experiment and then "invert" to solve for the best set of Xs for a new set of Ys. This perspectives paper uses archived experimental data to consider aspects of data collection and experiment design for the calibration data to maximize the quality of the predicted Ys in the forward models; that is, we assume that well-estimated forward models are effective in the inverse problem. In addition, we consider how to identify a best solution for the inferred X, and evaluate the quality of the result and its robustness to a variety of initial assumptions, and different correlation structures between the responses. We also briefly review recent advances in metrology issues related to characterizing particle morphology measurements used in the response vector, Y. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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