Neutron Scatter Camera for Radiaton Detection

Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia’s neutron scatter camera is an innovative design which combines the benefits of gamma ray imaging with fast neutron imaging. The camera detects special nuclear material (SNM) and rejects backgrounds from naturally occurring radiation sources that can produce false alarms. Additionally, the camera can detect and localize neutrons at greater distances and through shielding since fast neutrons are more penetrating than gamma rays. One of the key advantages is higher signal to background over non imaging detectors.

Sandia’s neutron camera design is sensitive, has good angular resolution, portable, and non hazardous. The design is scalable for shorter dwell times and longer stand-off detection.


  • Compact size, portable
  • Can filter out gamma background radiation “noise”
  • Combines gamma ray and neutron detection in one instrument
  • Good angular resolution- ~5 degrees achievable
  • Scalable design to tailor sensitivity to user needs
  • Can penetrate heavily shielded sources

Applications and Industries

  • Treaty verification & monitoring
  • Nuclear safeguards & nonproliferation
  • Homeland security

Patent Information

Number Issued On Title
7,741,613 06/22/2010 Neutron scatter camera
8,237,130 08/07/2012 Neutron scatter camera for improved neutron detection

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