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SBIR/STTR

Wide Range Neutron Detector, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Wide Range Neutron Detector, Phase I
Current design concepts of nuclear reactors for space applications are well advanced in core configurations and architectural design. There is a need to determine how such systems will be monitored and instrumented. We propose to adapt a Wide Range Neutron Detector (WRND) system currently in use at nuclear research facilities for its operation in the space environment. This new system can then be utilized to monitor and control a space-based nuclear power reactor. The system is capable of measuring neutron fluxes in the whole reactor's operation range, from a neutron flux of 10E0 n/cm2/sec up to a flux of more than 10E10 n/cm2/sec. In this way, a single instrument chain can be used instead of having different instrumentation for each of the operation ranges of the reactor (start-up, ramping-up, and nominal power) This is a clear advantage for space applications where mass, size, and power consumption constraints are of premium importance. A WRND would allow for a reduction in the complexity of space-based nuclear instrumentation and control systems. A ground version of the proposed system is presently being installed in a research reactor in Australia. More »

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