AMTEK wins DHS contract for nuclear materials detector

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., 18 January 2005. The ORTEC business unit of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology has been awarded a first stage contract by the U.S. Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Monitoring System for the interdiction of illicit nuclear materials.

Jan 19th, 2005

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., 18 January 2005. The ORTEC business unit of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology has been awarded a first stage contract by the U.S. Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Monitoring System for the interdiction of illicit nuclear materials.

The new portal monitor will be based on technology recently developed for the highly successful ORTEC Detective and Detective-EX hand-held radioisotope identifiers (HHRIDs). These unique devices incorporate ORTEC high-resolution, high-purity germanium detectors, cooled by miniature Stirling cycle coolers, and employ technology developed at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These result in enhanced sensitivity and selectivity that represent a substantial advance in system performance, including a 20-fold improvement in the device's ability to discriminate between "innocent" and suspicious radioactive material.

ORTEC physicists and engineers plan to scale up the technology into a system capable of rapidly processing pedestrians, vehicles and freight containers.

Among the stated goals for the system is a "significant reduction of nuisance alarm rates relative to current systems." Recent experience has shown that innocent alarms in cargo freight are largely due to natural radiation sources. The ORTEC technology will greatly improve the ability of authorities to resolve such situations without interfering with the normal flow of commerce at airports, border crossings, cargo ship docks, transportation terminals, and other points of interest to the Department of Homeland Security.

ORTEC has more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of highly sensitive radiation detectors used by government and industrial laboratories, nuclear facilities and medical research and in nuclear safeguards. For more information, see www.ortec-online.com.

AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology is a division of AMETEK, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with annual sales of $1.2 billion. For more information, see www.ametek.com.

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