Network algorithms for detection of radiation sources

Nageswara S.V. Rao, Satyabrata Sen, Nicholas J. Prins, Daniel A. Cooper, Robert J. Ledoux, James B. Costales, Krzysztof Kamieniecki, Steven E. Korbly, Jeffrey K. Thompson, James Batcheler, Richard R. Brooks, Chase Q. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Networks of radiation counters have been recently developed for detecting low-level, hazardous radiation sources, and they have been utilized in indoor and outdoor characterization tests. Subsequently, the test measurements have been "replayed" using multiple sub-networks, which enabled the analysis of various scenarios beyond the tests. We present a particle filter algorithm that combines measurements from gamma counters across the network to detect radiation sources. Using replays from an outdoor test, we construct a border monitoring scenario that consists of twelve 2 in.×2 in. NaI detectors or counters deployed on the periphery to monitor a 42×42 m2 region. A 137Cs source is moved across this region, starting several meters outside and finally moving away from it. The measurements from individual, pairs and boundary detectors are replayed using the particle filter algorithm. The algorithm outputs demonstrate, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the benefits of networking all boundary counters: the source is detected meters before it enters the region, while being inside, and until moving several meters away. On the other hand, when counters are used individually or in pairs, the source is detected for much shorter durations, and sometimes not detected at all while inside the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


  • Border monitoring
  • Detection networks
  • Particle filters


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