NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X14.03-9491
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Neutron Spectroscopy
PROPOSAL TITLE: CMOS-based Neutron Spectroscopic Dosimeter (CNSD)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Christian
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6800

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Monitoring space radiation and the dose received by astronauts is important, especially for future long-duration missions. Neutrons contribute a significant component to the total radiation dose during solar events. We propose to develop a rugged, compact, lightweight, non-hazardous CMOS-based detector technology for an existing neutron spectroscopic dosimeter system. The existing system utilizes a unique gelled scintillation material, which enables the discrimination of neutron signals from gamma background using time profile of the scintillation signal.
We will demonstrate that the ultra-compact CMOS-SSPM integrated with its readout electronics can replace photomultiplier tubes and its discrete readout components used in the existing neutron spectroscopic dosimeter system. When coupled to the existing system, the proposed technology will demonstrate a technology readiness level of 4. This provides the necessary basis for a flight-ready neutron spectrometer system able to efficiently detect neutrons with energies up to 150MeV, and capable of rejecting gamma-ray and charged particle backgrounds using, respectively, the pulse shape discrimination characteristic of the gel scintillation detector and the of anti-coincidence scintillation detectors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
During space flight, both the immediate rate and neutron exposure information can be recorded simultaneously by the proposed high-efficiency spectroscopic dosimeter. The lightweight, compact size and inexpensive nature of the CMOS SSPM sensors also opens the possibility of creating a radiation monitoring network for comparison of radiation exposure, including individual monitors for each crewmember with online data for the whole mission and ground-based research for comparison. The CMOS environment used to fabricate the SSPM with its integrated electronics enables low-cost and lightweight space-radiation dosimeters and solar particle monitors for NASA satellites, whose size and weight is limited only by the active neutron-sensitive scintillation material.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of a compact fast neutron dosimeter will be very useful for non-NASA applications such as:
1. Measuring the neutron dose for the radiological workers in National Labs such as the LANSCE\WNR facility at LANL where 70% of the neutron dose equivalent is due to neutrons with energies > 10 MeV.
2. Fast neutron spectrometry in spallation sources, where the neutron energy range covers a large region up to few hundred MeV. It can be also used for neutron monitoring of the ADS (accelerator driven system) for transmutation purposes.
3. For the employees of the Department of Homeland Security at the U.S. points of entry.
4. For environmental monitoring (such as during the management of nuclear waste).
5. In medical applications such as fast neutron therapy.
6. Protecting satellites and ground-based equipment from solar flares.
7. As high altitude commercial flights become more prevalent, active dosimeters can provide the redundant safeguards and information required to protect companies from unnecessary litigation and passengers from hazardous radiation conditions.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Particle and Fields
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50