NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomy Technology in Homeland Security
In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office began an Advanced Technology Demonstration project for development of prototype Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL) devices. An IPRL unit is a handheld radiation detector with the capability of determining the identity and direction of radiation sources. In 2007, DNDO began an Advanced Technology Demonstration project for the development of prototype Stand-Off Radiation Detector System (SORDS) devices. A SORDS unit is a vehicle-transportable radiation detector with the capability of determining the identity and direction/location of radiation sources at greater distances and while in motion. For management and oversight of the IPRL and SORDS projects, DNDO sought technical expertise from NASA scientists experienced in the detection and location of sources of gamma radiation. I will speak about my experiences in reviewing and characterizing these systems.