DHS Seeks Information on Mobile Radiation Detection Devices
Wednesday, February 02, 2022 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released a request for information (RFI) seeking commercially available mobile radiation detection systems to aid emergency responders on a broad spectrum of radiation detection missions. The technologies will be considered for inclusion in a market survey being conducted by S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL).

The lab is specifically seeking information on radiation detection systems designed to take geo-referenced radiation measurements while carried on or within vehicles such as automobiles, boats or aircraft. Interested manufacturers have until 5:00 PM EST, February 28, to submit their products.

“These systems are a key component of emergency preparedness,” NUSTL engineer Cecilia Murtagh said. “They are used by law enforcement and incident response personnel to find lost, stolen, illegal or potentially threatening radiological sources, and may be used in hazard assessments in emergency response missions.”

The detection systems use large, sensitive gamma-ray detectors to survey a wide area, integrating radiation and spatial information. On land-based vehicles, they can search along a particular route or park temporarily to monitor passing vehicles and people on foot. Detectors on maritime vessels can monitor radiation from boat traffic at harbors or detect radiation from material dispersed by fires or explosions. On helicopters or airplanes, they can cover large geographical regions to take measurements over potentially hazardous areas or to detect radiation from radioactive material released into the air.

The RFI requires a system to include a large volume gamma-ray detector sensitive to photon energies from 50 keV to 2.7 MeV, can detect small changes in radiation level above the background and can alert the user to changes in the radiation field corresponding to alarm thresholds.

The market survey report is being developed under NUSTL’s System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program. SAVER provides information on commercially available equipment that federal, state, local, tribal and territorial response agencies use in making selection and procurement decisions. The mobile radiation detection systems market survey report will be posted to the SAVER Document Library on the S&T website.

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