Next Article in Journal
GelSight: High-Resolution Robot Tactile Sensors for Estimating Geometry and Force
Next Article in Special Issue
Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers for Robotic Nondestructive Inspection in Harsh Environments
Previous Article in Journal
Silver Nanoparticle Modified Electrode Covered by Graphene Oxide for the Enhanced Electrochemical Detection of Dopamine
Previous Article in Special Issue
A High-Temperature MEMS Surface Fence for Wall-Shear-Stress Measurement in Scramjet Flow
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122756

First Results of Using a UVTron Flame Sensor to Detect Alpha-Induced Air Fluorescence in the UVC Wavelength Range

1
Engineering Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK
2
School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
3
Nuclear Metrology Group, National Physical Laboratory, London TW11 0LW, UK
4
Independent researcher, Warrington WA5 9YX, UK
5
Characterisation, Inspection & Decontamination Group, Sellafield Ltd., Cumbria CA20 1PG, UK
6
The National Nuclear Laboratory, Warrington WA3 6AE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Materials for Harsh Environments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5805 KB, uploaded 29 November 2017]   |  

Abstract

In this work, a robust stand-off alpha detection method using the secondary effects of alpha radiation has been sought. Alpha particles ionise the surrounding atmosphere as they travel. Fluorescence photons produced as a consequence of this can be used to detect the source of the alpha emissions. This paper details experiments carried out to detect this fluorescence, with the focus on photons in the ultraviolet C (UVC) wavelength range (180–280 nm). A detector, UVTron R9533 (Hamamatsu, 325-6, Sunayama-cho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref., 430-8587, Japan), designed to detect the UVC emissions from flames for fire alarm purposes, was tested in various gas atmospheres with a 210Po alpha source to determine if this could provide an avenue for stand-off alpha detection. The results of the experiments show that this detector is capable of detecting alpha-induced air fluorescence in normal indoor lighting conditions, as the interference from daylight and artificial lighting is less influential on this detection system which operates below the UVA and UVB wavelength ranges (280–315 nm and 315–380 nm respectively). Assuming a standard 1 r 2 drop off in signal, the limit of detection in this configuration can be calculated to be approximately 240 mm, well beyond the range of alpha-particles in air, which indicates that this approach could have potential for stand-off alpha detection. The gas atmospheres tested produced an increase in the detector count, with xenon having the greatest effect with a measured 52% increase in the detector response in comparison to the detector response in an air atmosphere. This type of alpha detection system could be operated at a distance, where it would potentially provide a more cost effective, safer, and faster solution in comparison with traditional alpha detection methods to detect and characterise alpha contamination in nuclear decommissioning and security applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: UVTron flame detectors; alpha detection; alpha-induced air fluorescence; alpha imaging; nuclear decontamination and decommissioning UVTron flame detectors; alpha detection; alpha-induced air fluorescence; alpha imaging; nuclear decontamination and decommissioning
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Crompton, A.J.; Gamage, K.A.A.; Bell, S.; Wilson, A.P.; Jenkins, A.; Trivedi, D. First Results of Using a UVTron Flame Sensor to Detect Alpha-Induced Air Fluorescence in the UVC Wavelength Range. Sensors 2017, 17, 2756.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top