HOUSTON, Texas, 15 March 2007.Positron Corporation, through its research and development affiliate, has filed a provisional patent on a device capable of detecting illicit radioactive sources at a distance.
The processes and techniques used in the development of the radiation detection devices arose as a result of Positron's history in medical imaging and positron emission mammography (PET) scanners. A PET scanner detects cancer-seeking radiopharmaceuticals injected into the human body. PET scanners operate at close distances to the body, whereas radiation detection devices for homeland security must be able to detect potential nuclear threats at much lower dose levels and in a much shorter time period, from as far as 100 meters away.
The new stand-off radiation scanner (SORAC) incorporates proprietary solid-state photodetectors developed by the Positron affiliate's scientific team. The solid-state detectors do not require cooling, and have greater mobility and lower power requirements. The photodetectors cost less than conventional high-resolution components (e.g., multi-anode photomultipliers), an advantage for homeland security applications.