Detecting small low emission radiating sources

Moritz Allmaras, David Darrow, Yulia Hristova, Guido Kanschat, Peter Kuchment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In order to prevent influx of highly enriched nuclear material through border checkpoints, new advanced detection schemes need to be developed. Typical issues faced in this context are sources with very low emission against a dominating natural background radiation. Sources are expected to be small and shielded and hence cannot be detected from measurements of radiation levels alone. We consider collimated and Compton-type measurements and propose a detection method that relies on the geometric singularity of small sources to distinguish them from the more uniform background. The method is characterized by high sensitivity and specificity and allows for assigning confidence probabilities of detection. The validity of our approach can be justified using properties of related techniques from medical imaging. Results of numerical simulations are presented for collimated and Compton-type measurements. The 2D case is considered in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-79
Number of pages33
JournalInverse Problems and Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Compton camera
  • Homeland security
  • Nuclear source detection
  • Tomography


Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting small low emission radiating sources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this