Active neutron interrogation experiments and simulation verification using the SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray spectrometer (SINGR) for geosciences

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
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Abstract

We present a new SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma Ray spectrometer (SINGR) instrument for use with both passive and active measurement techniques. Here we discuss the application of SINGR for planetary exploration missions, however, hydrology, nuclear non-proliferation, and resource prospecting are all potential areas where the instrument could be applied. SINGR uses an elpasolite scintillator, Cs2YLiCl6:Ce (CLYC), that has been shown to have high neutron efficiency even at small volumes, with a gamma-ray energy resolution of approximately 4% full-width-at-half-maximum at 662 keV. Active gamma-ray and neutron (GRNS) measurements were performed with SINGR at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) outdoor test site using a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) to interrogate geologically relevant materials (basalt and granite monuments). These experimental results, combined with simulations, demonstrate that SINGR is capable of generating neutron die-away curves that can be used to reconstruct the bulk hydrogen abundance and the depth distribution of hydrogen within the monuments. We compare our experimental results with Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) 6.1 transport simulations to constrain the uncertainties in depth and hydrogen abundance from the neutron die-away data generated by SINGR. For future planetary exploration missions, SINGR provides a single detector system for interrogating the shallow subsurface to characterize the presence and abundance of hydrated phases and to provide bulk elemental analysis.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Active neutron interrogation experiments and simulation verification using the SIngle-scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray spectrometer (SINGR) for geosciences
Series title Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
DOI 10.1016/j.nima.2021.165883
Edition Online First
Volume 1020
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 165883
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