April 2, 2008 The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission states that while a “Dirty Bomb” would not release enough radiation to kill people or cause severe illness, prompt detection of the type of radioactive material used is critical for protective measures. To this end, ew unattended detection systems known as DefenTect, GammaTect and GammaTect Plus are being introduced by Splinternet Holdings at the International Security Conference and Exposition ISC West Show in Las Vegas, from April 2 – 4.
A Dirty Bomb is an explosive device that includes radioactive materials, which can be found at hospitals, research facilities, and construction sites. The DefenTect system manages a network of solid state GammaTect radiation sensors that send real-time notifications to command centers as soon as the presence of threat-level gamma rays is detected. Customers with IP networks can add radiation detection capability, and administrators can designate alerts to be automatically sent to cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or other devices.
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The GammaTect sensors detect gamma radiation at 2mR/hr in less than one second, the equivalent of a dirty bomb made with 60 curies of Cesium-137 at a distance of 83.82 meters. The sensors are small enough to be hidden under ceiling tiles or in walls, and each individual sensor's detection threshold can be configured and reset using a web browser from any part of the globe. The sensors send notifications of 'all clear,' 'no answer,' or 'alert' every few seconds to a guard station monitor.
The scintillator-based GammaTect Plus is a more sophisticated gamma sensor than GammaTect. By providing real-time isotope identification, it can be set to ignore medical or other benign environmental isotopes if threat-level violations occur. This feature also allows them to subtract predictive background radiation in high radiation areas, and the “patient mode” can account for medical treatments involving radiation. The sensors include digital cameras that automatically document events of importance.