A novel technique to detect special nuclear material using cosmic rays

Thomay, C.; Baesso, P.; Cussans, D.; Davies, J.; Glaysher, P.; Quillin, S.; Robertson, S.; Steer, C.; Vassallo, C.; Velthuis, J.

Resistive plate chambers (RPCs) are widely used in high energy physics for both tracking and triggering purposes, due to their excellent time resolution, rate capability, and good spatial resolution. RPCs can be produced cost-effectively on large scales, are of rugged build, and have excellent detection efficiency for charged particles. Our group has successfully built a muon scattering tomography (MST) prototype, using 12 RPCs to obtain tracking information of muons going through a target volume of ∼ 50 cm × 50 cm × 70 cm, reconstructing both the incoming and outgoing muon tracks. The required spatial granularity is achieved by using 330 readout strips per RPC with 1.5 mm pitch. The RPCs have shown an efficiency above 99% and an estimated intrinsic resolution below 1.1 mm. Due to these qualities, RPCs serve as excellent candidates for usage in volcano radiography.

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Thomay, C. / Baesso, P. / Cussans, D. / et al: A novel technique to detect special nuclear material using cosmic rays. 2012. Copernicus Publications.

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