Detecting small low emission radiating sources Academic Article uri icon


  • 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. 2013 American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

published proceedings

  • Inverse Problems & Imaging

author list (cited authors)

  • Allmaras, M., Darrow, D., Hristova, Y., Kanschat, G., & Kuchment, P.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • January 2013